The numerous physical, emotional and mental changes that take place during the teen years require more than a little patience and understanding. Eventually, adolescents will need to find a new doctor.
“The first question might be to ask your pediatric primary care provider at what age do they consider an age to start,” said Nneka Holder, MD, an adolescent medicine specialist at Akron Children’s hospital. “Some offices begin that process at 18. Other offices begin that process at 21. The adolescent health center at Akron Children’s Hospital tends to follow the guidelines of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine which has defined adolescence through the age of 25.”
Young adults will also need to do a little homework on their end to prepare for this transition. These preparations should include the collection and clear understanding of their personal health history.
“It’s important for your young person to know their own health history, particularly any significant past medical history, any chronic health conditions, even if they’re not having any symptoms right now or even if that condition is well controlled, such as asthma,” said Holder.
Other important aspects of their personal health history include hospitalizations and ER visits, medications, vitamins and herbs, allergies, and the health history of close family members, Holder added. Health insurance coverage is also a critical consideration when selecting an adult primary care provider.
In the following video, Holder also discussed the impact of a young adult’s special care needs, as well as the process for having health records released to the new provider.