Why Must You Change Doctors?
As you become a young adult, your responsibilities increase, you become more independent and you need to learn how to take care of yourself to remain healthy as you grow older. A first step in taking a more active role in your healthcare decisions is to transition from a pediatrician to an adult primary care doctor, such as a family medicine physician or an internist. (You need to be 18 to select an internist, but you can select a family medicine doctor before age 18.) If you've had a pediatrician, you might not know that pediatricians specialize in caring for children and adolescents, typically until they turn 18.
Your pediatrician can assist you in finding an adult primary care doctor who meets your specific needs, or your family and friends might have a recommendation. Choose a new doctor you can trust and feel completely comfortable with to ensure a positive transition. You can also make an appointment to talk about a health concern and meet your new doctor before making your final decision.
If you have a chronic illness or complicated medical history, talk with your current doctor about when to transition to an adult primary care doctor. Remember, information is power — ask questions and get advice. Together, you can determine what works for you!