Transition from Pediatric to Adult Care
Healthcare for youth is different than health care for adults. In adult care, you are in charge of your own care and involve your parents/caregivers if you choose. Here are some of the changes that happen when you move to adult care. Transitioning from a doctor who sees children to a doctor who sees adults can be a very big step for many patients. Like going to college, getting a job, or going to live on your own, transitioning to adult care takes independence, self-advocacy, and preparation. Growing up always means taking on more responsibilities in your life, and that includes your health and health care. When you take charge of your health, you take charge of your life!
Whether you are a primary care and/or subspecialty patient within our pediatric programs, we are committed to helping you through this important transition. We work closely with our patients and families to decide the best age for them to move to an adult doctor and help prepare them for this important move. This includes helping build skills needed for an adult care model, assisting in doctor selection, sending medical records (if needed) and communicating any unique needs with the adult doctor. We will also help our patients find community resources if needed.
UF Health Pediatrics is committed to helping our patients make a smooth transition from pediatric to adult health care. This means working with our patients, starting at age 12 to 14, and their families to prepare for the gradual change from a “pediatric” model of care, where parents make most decisions, to an “adult” model of care, where youth make most decisions. This means we will spend time during visits discussing adolescent confidentiality rules. We may also spend time during visits without the parent/caretaker present in the room to help patients set health goals and learn to take control of their own health care.
How you can help
You can help by exploring your readiness to transition, gaining independent health care skills, preparing for an adult model of care and eventually transferring to adult providers (when you are ready!). The steps are resources below can prepare adolescents, young adults and families for this transition to adult health care and make sure the process goes smoothly.
- Step 1: ONLINE QUIZ
Are you ready to transition to adult care? Take an online quiz to find out now!
- Step 2: TRANSITION TIMELINE
It is important that you know the timeline for this important transition. Please review the Transition Timeline for some of these very important age-specific milestones.
- Step 3: READINESS ASSESSMENT
It is time to find out what you already know about your health and your health care by filling out our Transition Readiness Assessment. These are available for you to complete before or during your visits within our clinics. It is most helpful if you have a MyUFHealth account so these assessments can be assigned for completion before your visit. You can also fill out the Transition Assessment on the Got Transitions website and bring it with you to your next appointment so you can review it together.
- Step 4: ASSESSING YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION
A smartphone is a great place to keep your important health information. You can fill out the Medical ID on your smartphone, which can be access by anyone in the case of an emergency. In addition, the University of Florida Health offers MyUFHealth to encourage you to take an even greater role in your own health care. You will need a personal email address to enroll in this service. Please feel free to visit our website to login or signup for this free service.
Online resources for adolescents and their parents/caretakers exploring health care transition:
- UF Health Pediatrics Policy for Health Care Transition
- Got Transition: Health Care Transition for Youth and Young Adults
- Got Transition: Health Care Transition for Parents & Caregivers
- Pediatric to Adult Health Care Transition: A Family Toolkit
- How Does Pediatric and Adult Care Differ?
- Health Care Transition Timeline
A document to help you prepare a medical summary that is important in health care transition:
Information about obtaining insurance about insurance: