I'm 14 and would like to switch doctors because I have been seeing a pediatrician.
At what age do most people switch? How do I do it? – Rachelle*
There's no set age for switching from a pediatrician to an adult doctor —
it can be whenever a person feels ready. Most pediatricians stop seeing patients who
are between the ages of 18 and 21, so you'll need to make the switch eventually. Now
is a good time to take the first step and start getting involved in making
decisions about your health.
Pediatricians are trained to treat teens, so it's perfectly fine to continue to
see your pediatrician as long as you feel comfortable. But some people find it harder
to connect with their childhood doctors as they get older. If you think you've outgrown
your pediatrician, talk to your parents about making a switch. If you're up for it,
tell your pediatrician that you'll be moving on. They may have some suggestions about
other doctors for you.
You may decide that you want to see a health care provider who specializes in caring
for teens. Adolescent medicine
specialists have extra training in the medical and emotional issues that many
teens face. To find one, look online at:
Can't find an adolescent medicine specialist in your area? Don't worry —
family practitioners or internists can help you too. Ask your parents or older siblings
to suggest doctors, or get recommendations from your school nurse.