Ask the Experts: Why Switch From Pediatric to Adult Urology Care and How Do I Prepare My Child?
There comes a time when children are asked to move to an adult doctor. Hospital and insurance systems often require this switch. If your child has a urologic problem that needs ongoing care, an adult urologist will help them as they grow. Ongoing care may be needed from a birth condition, a kidney problem or another long-term urologic issue. An adult urologist is also better for sexual function and fertility.
It’s normal for older children and teens to feel nervous about this change. It can be hard to share personal issues with a new care team. The first step is to ask your current doctor for a trusted referral. Find a good fit before selecting a new doctor. You can talk with a few medical teams. Take time to find one that you and your child like.
What Should We Keep in Mind?
Your pediatric urologist should work with you along the way. Keep in mind these things:
Respect your child’s privacy.Your child may want privacy. You will have to learn to trust that they can make their own decisions. They’ll have their doctor to help them.
Communicate openly.Talk with your teen and current doctor about the main points of your child's health.
Keep records.Make sure your new doctor is up to speed on your child’s medical history. Keep copies of past treatments and surgeries.
Learn about insurance.Talk with your child’s health insurance provider or Medicaid to learn what services are covered and what are not. Make medical choices with cost in mind.
Teach your child independence.Show your child how to schedule appointments, manage medicine and learn about insurance. Take small steps to give them the skills they need.
Dr. Rosalia Misseri, a pediatric urologist at Riley Children's Health at Indiana University Health, focuses on all phases of pediatric urology with special interests in the management of adolescent patients and adult patients with congenital urogenital abnormalities.
Read the latest issue of Urology Health extra, the Urology Care Foundations patient-focused magazine.
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