College applications, financial aid forms, senior prom, graduation, finding a new doctor…
Wait! Rewind! What was that last item? Find a new doctor??
Yep. If you’ve got a high school senior in your household, one of the items on your checklist (literal or figurative) should be thinking about transitioning them to an adult medical care provider. Youth over 18 are legally adults, and with adult status comes a series of changes in their medical needs. So, we’ll be sending out some letters this spring to our patients who have turned 18, in order to give you plenty of warning and help you start the process. For most young people, the summer after high school graduation is the perfect time to make this transition.
You may choose to have your young adult see your own physician, or you may locate a new provider for them. Even if they are going away to college and will have access to a student health center, they should still have a medical home back here in their home town.
Young people with special health care needs — especially those with developmental disabilities who continue to attend public school up through age 21 — may continue to be seen here until age 21, if your child’s PCP agrees. After that, though, even they will have to move on.
So watch for those letters. In the next few weeks we will post a directory of some providers in the community who have been especially willing to take on young people who have outgrown us.