Last Pediatric visit... transition to their own doctor or yours - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-03-2014, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Took my 17-year-old in for a well-check and to take care of all the college new student stuff. I admit, I hadn't thought about it being her last visit and was a little thrown when the staff got all emotional. I was in the wait room when the doctor came out with hugs. I originally thought I'd just move her to my doctor but now I'm wondering if it's better for her to have her own doctor. Our office has several so no reason she couldn't stay in our building with her own person (except that we sometimes see others.)

 

I won't make any changes until next year when she actually turns 18 next year but curious as to what others with almost grown kids do.


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#2 of 7 Old 05-03-2014, 08:55 AM
 
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Took my 17-year-old in for a well-check and to take care of all the college new student stuff. I admit, I hadn't thought about it being her last visit and was a little thrown when the staff got all emotional. I was in the wait room when the doctor came out with hugs. I originally thought I'd just move her to my doctor but now I'm wondering if it's better for her to have her own doctor. Our office has several so no reason she couldn't stay in our building with her own person (except that we sometimes see others.)

 

I won't make any changes until next year when she actually turns 18 next year but curious as to what others with almost grown kids do.

 

We don't have primary care pediatricians here, so we didn't have a clear point of transition like you're facing. For us the "seeing your own doctor" issue came up at a younger age. During early adolescence I gave them the knowledge and tools and experience they needed to seek out and obtain their own health care independently. How and where to call for an appointment, what to bring, what the expectations would be for the visit and examination, how to present your questions and concerns, what is involved in consent and so on. I've seen too many teens endure months of worry and worsening health because they don't know how to access care on their own, or don't realize it's their right to do so. I wanted my kids to feel confident interfacing with the health care system long before something serious or dangerous or worrisome arose, gaining that confidence when they weren't under stress from a serious illness or injury. I don't know about where you live but here the age of consent is somewhere around 14 (with some grey area on the younger side as well), so that's when I started putting a bit more on my kids' plates for most of their health care stuff. A couple of days ago I dropped my 15-year-old off at the local clinic for a set of vaccinations that she had done her own research on and chosen to pursue. She's already been involved for a couple of years in deciding when to seek medical attention for sports injuries and the like. Of course she has our support and advice if she needs it, but she knows she is in the driver's seat. 

 

This gradual transition worked well for my dd20. Seeking out health care in a new city on her own, making the judgement call about when and how to do so, filling a prescription, getting tests done, that was stuff she'd already had experience doing on her own in an adult-like capacity before she moved away from home at 17. I guess it's probably harder to give kids that gradual independence starting at younger ages if they typically stay with a primary care pediatrician until 18, but I would still try to give it some attention.

 

Wouldn't it make more sense for your dd to get a doctor in the town where she'll be attending college? My dd is home less than 8 weeks a year, so her doc is in Montreal, where she spends most of the remaining 44 weeks.

 

I do think it's best for teens and young adults to form a relationship with a doc that is as independent as possible from their relationship with their parents, so regardless I would suggest someone other than your doctor. 

 

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#3 of 7 Old 05-03-2014, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Her university has a medical facility for students that will attend her general needs for the next 4 years. She needs someone at her home base which is still with us (and at least the first year, she'll be home 5 months of the year.) If a long-term health issue pops-up, we'd visit moving her to a practice near her college.

 

It's tricky in the states with the variety of insurance options and red-tape. It was a nightmare for me trying to find a new general practice doc when my last one moved. If you move and don't like the office, it's a huge pain to move again. Then of course, you are limited in well-visits so may not know if the new doc is great or horrid until you have to go in for something serious. I relied heavily on friend recommendations so hardly did it all by myself as an adult. I don't mind being a team effort with DD this first time. She's always had a lot of say in her medical options. Not afraid to challenge and discuss options with her doctor. I just don't see handing her the inch thick book of potential docs that work on our insurance and saying "go for it."


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#4 of 7 Old 05-03-2014, 08:30 PM
 
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It's tricky in the states with the variety of insurance options and red-tape. 

 

Wow, sounds like it! I can definitely see why you wouldn't be leaving the find-a-doctor job to her alone. 

 

We too are limited in our access to checkups (we don't really do them at all), which is why from age 14 or so to use those occasional purpose-driven visits (say, to discuss travel vaccinations and prophylactic antibiotics, or to follow up a sports injury) as opportunities to transfer more independence and forge an adult-like relationship with a family doc. But if the expectation is that your child will stay with a pediatrician until 18, then those occasional visits during the teen years can't be used as easily that way. No wonder it feels like a watershed moment for you, and for her.

 

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#5 of 7 Old 05-04-2014, 06:37 AM
 
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I moved my kiddo to a family practice dr when he was 12/13 (right around his b'day).  He was refusing to go to the 'baby office' anymore and I was fine with that.  We chose a different dr in my practice and for now its working out.  the staff is gentle and caring.  Appointments are easy to make and generally same day or next day for most things.  They understand 'teen' issues - our being asthma and swim team complications, the occassional 'pool foot' etc.  There is no push to vax.

 

I still call to make appointments but kiddo goes back to see the dr himself and then they follow up with me.

 

I couldn't move him to my dr as she specializes in internal med/womens issues - not a great fit for a teen boy.  General family practice or general internal med is a much better fit ;)


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#6 of 7 Old 05-05-2014, 06:49 AM
 
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We have a family practice dr.  We all see him, which can be very helpful at times.  Like when one kid gets diagnosed with pinkeye, the rest of us don't have to go in if we show symptoms, he will prescribe for the whole family.  He also knows our family dynamics and can be more helpful on some things. 

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#7 of 7 Old 05-11-2014, 10:53 PM
 
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We see mainly two GPs - so it's no big deal, we've all shared the same doctors for years. When they go off to college they will use the clinics there.

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