When you turn 18, you are legally an adult. This means you can legally make your own decisions. It also means you will move from youth to adult healthcare. You may wonder what adult healthcare is like, where you will go for care and who your healthcare providers will be. Knowing what to expect and what's different about adult healthcare will help make the transition easier.
When you turn 18 you may need to see new healthcare providers. This will depend on your medical condition and who your current healthcare providers are.
If you have a specific health condition that needs ongoing care or treatment, you will likely see a specialist. If you have more than one health condition, you may see a different specialist for each condition.
If you’re not getting the care you expected from your new specialist, you can ask your family doctor to refer you to someone else.
You will see your family doctor or nurse practitioner for general health concerns. If you were seeing a pediatrician you will need to find a family doctor for:
As a child and youth, many of your healthcare providers may have been in one place, building or site. In adult healthcare, your healthcare providers will likely be at different locations.
If you have a specific health condition, you may see a specialist at an adult specialty clinic (such as a diabetes, epilepsy, or cystic fibrosis clinic).
There are many differences between pediatric and adult healthcare. Knowing about these differences will help make your transition easier. One major difference is that you will be more responsible for your healthcare.
As an adult, you can expect the following:
You and your family may be nervous about moving to adult care because you are leaving healthcare providers that you know and trust, and need to develop relationships with new healthcare providers. If you prepare for these changes, it will make your transition easier.