Teenagers: About Transition to Adult Doctors

Teenagers, your team at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia wants to talk to you about a very important topic: transitioning to adult doctors.

Soon you’ll be an adult. Adults need adult doctors. When you reach late teens or early 20s, your ability to manage your care will be important to your health. We want you to be ready. Our special Transition Program was created incorporating ideas from young adults with chronic illnesses. Here are the sorts of things we can help with:


You can figure it all out. Health insurance is so important, and it will become your responsibility. The right coverage makes a big difference in keeping healthy as an adult. There are many decisions to be made and terms to be learned: deductible, out-of-network provider, out-of-pocket maximum. It’s a big responsibility, and you can handle it. We will help.

Sex, drugs, etc.

You can make good decisions. Every teenager makes decisions about sex, drugs and alcohol. Illness complicates things. For instance, certain medications make alcohol more dangerous. We have the information you need to protect yourself. You can ask us anything. As your healthcare team, we can help you decide what decisions are right for you.


You can help them step back. Your parents don’t always know how to let you be more independent. For instance, you will need to begin talking directly to your doctor about how you live your life so your treatment reflects that. Because they care so much, it can be hard for parents to step back as you become more responsible for your care. We can help you and your parents adjust.


You can do it. Growing up brings choices: working, going to college, moving and much more. Because of your illness, you have an additional layer of responsibility. You can handle it. We’ll provide the tools to help you learn about important topics like what colleges do to help with chronic illness. We have a list of great adult doctors, and our nurse practitioner can go with you on your first appointment. You’re on a great path — the path to adulthood. We’ll help you along the way.