Pediatric to Adult Care
Robert J. Schwab, M.D.
It's a difficult question to answer because it's very individual for each patient and family.
Some of the children will begin to question it in junior high and they're welcome to transition anytime. We typically around eighteen start talking with them about it and invite them to stay while they complete their education.
For the healthy kids there isn't a lot to do other than bring up the subject, kind of offer suggestions enquiring whether their parents have a provider that they're comfortable with or if not to some of them will ask us for references and, of course, Boys Town has internal medicine.
Some people consider us the quarterback of the medical team so if anyone has medical specialists gastroenterologists, cardiologists, anything like that we're in communication with all the specialists.
We take care of the whole person both in preventing illness and treating illness.
The health problems are really not much different when you're transitioning into that internal medicine phase of your life. It's still the same problems, maybe, a few little differences that are more common in late adolescents or early adulthood. The transition is very simple. We just pick up the ball where it's left off from the pediatrician.
What is the process for the transition?
Most of the time it's very simple because the records are already available to us so all we have to do is review the record and we'll know exactly what's been done and where to pick up.
Really any complex medical condition we'll likely call the pediatrician and have a conversation about what medications have you tried, what successes have you had, what failures with which medications so that we don't go down the same road and repeat.
What can ease this transition for my child?
Plan ahead. Choose a provider make an appointment and to go and meet them and ask the questions about how to make an appointment if I'm sick, how do I get an appointment when I need a check-up.
Boys Town is a very good place for people who are transitioning from pediatrics into internal medicine.
It's about taking time with patients, asking the right questions, and listening to them. I think we do a very good job of that.
I guess we just assess what questions and concerns and fears they have and treating these patients like they're adults because they are adults now and just encouraging them to take on the responsibility of their own health care.