Stories about: Medical transition

Transitioning from pediatric to adult care: Insights and more

Meet some caregivers of the future: an aspiring nurse, a hopeful child life specialist and an ambitious doctor-to-be. They are all long-term patients of Boston Children’s Hospital, members of the Boston Children’s Teen Advisory Committee (TAC) and the proud writers and editors of One Step at a Time, a guide to transitioning from pediatric to adult care.

The guide, which is packed with tips and tricks to ease the transition from pediatric to adult care, is based on interviews with doctors, nurses and other caregivers. Meet some of the faces behind the guide, and get some additional advice about the transition from pediatric to adult care.

Hover over the photos to learn more about each young woman’s transition to adult care.

Learn more about TAC and get One Step at a Time.

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Back-to-school health: heading off to college with a chronic illness

Written by Kitty O’Hare, MD, Boston Children’s Hospital’s director of Transition Medicine for Primary Care.

It’s late summer and in my office there’s a sudden flurry of activity from students hurrying to get sports physicals and vaccines before heading off to college. Everyone is nervous about their new roommates, their class schedules and whether they will be homesick. But for some of my patients, going to college is especially nerve-wracking because it will be their first time living away from home with a chronic disease.

I deal with teen health daily. I care for a lot of adolescents and young adults with chronic disease, everything from asthma to diabetes to congenital heart defects. As my patients grow up they have a lot to deal with because of medical issues: taking medicine, extra doctors’ appointments, extra vaccinations, missing school (or fun stuff). Most of them have help and support from their family and friends. And they know that their primary care doctor (me) is available to support them. But when they leave for college their support network stays at home, and that can be scary.Sometimes they even have to change primary care doctors. They have to think about how their choices in college affect their health, like if they start smoking with friends at parties, will their asthma get worse?  As pediatricians, we try to prepare our patients far in advance for the transition to this first stage of adulthood. Here are the top 10 teen health tips for new college students transitioning their care:

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