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Health Information For Teens
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.
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
Visit our center on managing your medical care for advice on how to get involved in taking charge of your health and choosing the right health care providers.
Figuring out health care is part of becoming an independent adult. Here are tips for teens on what that involves, and how to choose your own doctor.
Because EHRs improve how well your doctors talk to each other and coordinate your treatment, they can enhance your medical care. Get the facts on electronic health records.
You’re probably used to answering your doctor’s questions – not asking your own. But it’s your body, so you should be able to ask your doctor questions about anything you’d like. Here are some ideas to get you started.
You deserve medical care from someone who helps you feel comfortable and understood. Get tips on finding the best doctor for you.
Your best resource for health information and advice is your doctor – the person who knows you, your medical history, and accurate medical information to answer your questions.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Girls should get their first gynecological checkup between ages 13 and 15. Find out what happens during a yearly gyn visit — and why most girls don’t get internal exams.
Adolescent medicine doctors are specialists who have extra training in the medical and emotional issues that many teens face.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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