From ABCs to PCP: Helping your child transition from pediatric to adult medicine
By Dr. Uma Kolli, Family Medicine Physician
At what age did you stop seeing your pediatrician? For some of us, it was age 18. For others, it may have been years later.
It can be difficult to help transition your child from pediatrics to adult medicine, as in most cases pediatricians were right there with you raising your child. It can be difficult to take off the training wheels and encourage your daughter or son to take that large step into adulthood.
Once children turn 18, they are of age to begin seeing a primary care physician (PCP). If your child is under the age of 26, they are still eligible to be covered under your health insurance, as long as they don’t receive benefits from an employer.
Unlike pediatrics, internal medicine is based on patient responsibility. This means that your child has the power to make all decisions regarding their medical care and is legally entitled to privacy surrounding all medical conditions if they so choose.
When helping in this transition, it is vital to make your child aware of all important medical history. This includes family history of disease, previous illness, operations, medications, allergies to medicines, and immunizations. As you relay this information to your child, it is also important to encourage them to keep an up-to-date personal record.
Although it seems daunting and nerve-wracking to step back from this crucial aspect of your child’s life, it is necessary, healthy, and normal! Talk with your newly adult child to plan for the transition to adult medical care.
Dr. Uma Kolli is a family medicine physician, practicing in Fall River, MA. A member of Steward Medical Group, Dr. Kolli specializes in transitioning patients from pediatric care to adult medicine and is accepting new patients of all ages. For appointments, please call 508-235-5277.