When Are You Supposed to Switch to an Adult Doctor?

Published: June 18, 2021
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Hi FX, at what age are you supposed to see an adult doctor? I still see my baby doctor and my mom insists on sitting in there with me it is so awkward. Is there a way I can see an adult doctor myself?
Signed: When Are You Supposed to Switch to an Adult Doctor?

Dear When Are You Supposed to Switch to an Adult Doctor?,

TeenHealthFX is happy to hear you want to be involved in your health. Even though your doctor is a pediatrician, meaning they take care of babies and younger kids, most are trained to continue to provide care until the age of 21.  This would be a great opportunity to take the time to discuss your options with your current doctor as well as explain to your parents how you are older and would feel more comfortable discussing health matters alone with the doctor. 

In addition, depending on where you live, there are confidentiality restrictions which can limit what you doctor is and isn’t allowed to tell your parents. We recommend having an open and honest with conversation with your parents and your doctor to get on the same page. Your current doctor can also provide a referral for an adolescent doctor or even adult primary care doctor in your area.

If you need help finding a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the  Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist. We hope this helps!

Signed: TeenHealthFX