From Santa Cruz, California, USA:
My son has had diabetes for 13 years and is now 18. He is moving from his father's in Pennsylvania, where he is treated by an endocrinologist only back home with me where he was previously treated by a pediatrician and endocrinologist, both of whom have since retired. How do I go about assembling a diabetes team for a young adult? My son's needs are different than a child, of course, but he still is a far more needy patient with more issues than a full grown adult. I have a wonderful doctor who is a family practitioner. I was thinking of asking him if he feels comfortable heading my son's team but, would an adult endocrinologist be the other missing piece? Or, a pediatric endocrinologist? What kinds of people generally support the health of the adult diabetic?
This is a pertinent question.
The place to start, I think, would be your previous pediatric endocrinologist's practice."Someone" likely took over that practice or has access to the prior records when your son was a younger teen. They can guide you as to whether or not they would still wish to follow this young adult. Some pediatric folks stop when the patient is 16 to 18 years old; some, while the patient is in their early 20s.
Personally, while I absolutely understand that your son may have medical needs that a crusty old adult endocrinologist may not appreciate, I would still start the transition to adult endocrine care now! Why? Because WHOEVER assumes your son's care will be a new doctor. Why give him a new endocrinologist and then follow up in a couple of years with ANOTHER new endocrinologist? Your family practitioner may well be willing to coordinate the care but, I would not necessarily leave the endocrine care to that professional alone.
Original posting 20 May 2005
Posted to Other
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:02
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