Health care transition involves much more than finding a primary doctor.
If your child’s primary care provider is in family medicine, you may think that transition does not occur. Keep in mind that transition involves much more than finding a new primary doctor.
When choosing a new provider, you can ask friends or your doctor for suggestions. Many specialists only work with children or adults. There may be specialists currently on your child’s medical team who also need to be considered in a transfer to adult care.
There are also pediatric dentists, who will only see children and young adults up to a certain age. For some, this can be a big change and it may take multiple visits before your child feels comfortable.
Keep in mind that building a relationship with a new provider is going to take time.
What if my child’s doctor says we can stay with them?
That may be okay for regular visits, but if your child requires surgery, has an emergency, or needs to be admitted to the hospital, they may not be able to see their regular doctor. When a child turns 18 years old, they will be treated as an adult. If you plan to stay with your child’s doctor, talk about how you will plan for these unexpected situations.
Next steps: Identify an adult provider who will care for your adult child.
Who will help me to identify a new doctor, dentist or specialist?
- Ask current medical provider for recommendations.
- Check with family and friends.
- Search online, and read the reviews posted by others.
- See if the clinic or health system supports people with similar conditions.
- Ask adults who have a similar condition.
- Call your health insurance company or look through your health plan coverage booklet.
Who are the current providers:
Include “Name,” “Specialty,” and “Do they see adult patients?”
Create a list of possible future providers and contact information.
Include “Name,” “Specialty Contact Information,” and “Are they covered by your insurance?”
Talk with my child’s doctor about a transition plan.