Health Information

The best place to start preparing for adult care is to become an expert in your health history. Knowing your condition – if you have one – and the names of medicines you take is often the first thing a new healthcare team will ask. Not sure where to start? Check out these resources below.

Your health in three sentences

It is important to be able to tell other providers about your health. The three-sentence health summary is a quick and easy way to practice discussing key health information with your medical team.

  • Sentence 1: Your age, diagnosis and a brief medical history
  • Sentence 2: Your current treatment plan (medications, therapies and devices you use)
  • Sentence 3: What you want to talk about in today’s visit

Hi, my name is Sam. I am 15 years old and have type 1 diabetes. I was diagnosed when I was 10 and I have gone to the hospital twice for DKA, but not in the last three years. I am on an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor, and I take fast-acting insulin. For my visit today, I want to know how to stop low blood sugars when exercising because I’m trying out for the soccer team.

Adapted from SickKids Good2Go Program

Preparing for your appointment

Many young adults say they are unsure what to expect when seeing a new primary care doctor, or why it’s important at all. All adolescents and young adults should have a primary care doctor who they see once a year, even if you also see a specialist, like a cardiologist or endocrinologist. These annual visits with primary care are called well-check appointments.

Well-check appointments are different than doctor appointments you make when you are sick or injured. At a well-check appointment, you can expect:

  • To have your height and weight checked
  • To have your blood pressure, vision and sometimes hearing checked
  • To answer questions about your daily life (eating, sleeping and physical activity)
  • A physical exam
  • To review immunizations and receive any immunizations you are due for
  • Bloodwork to assess your risk for things like anemia and high cholesterol
  • Time to ask your own questions

It can be easy to forget your questions by the end of the appointment. Practice writing down your questions and main concerns a few days before seeing your doctor.

Online safety

There is so much information available to us online. How do you know if you can trust the information you read? Not all apps and websites are created equal; it is important to know how to find trustworthy and reliable information online. Below are some tips to help you find smart and safe information online.

It is important to know who created the app or website. One clue is to look at the end of the URL.

.com – Commercial websites end in .com and can be created by anyone who buys the rights to the webpage. These websites can have good information, but you should pay attention to who is writing the content. Use your critical thinking skills to decide if the author has the training or skills to provide truthful information.

.edu – Websites run by colleges or universities end in .edu and have information reviewed by school administrators, professors or researchers who work there.

.gov – The National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid are some examples. Government health agencies often have the most accurate and unbiased information.

.org – Nonprofit organizations that include established medical organizations, like GotTransition, the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Diabetes Association, end in .org. They can offer disease- or topic-specific information that is reviewed and supported by the organization.

For phone apps, look to see what organization or agency created it. Many established medical organizations and government health agencies have their own apps on different health topics. In the app store, make sure you look at who the developer is and where they got their information.
Information in healthcare changes quickly. It is important to pay attention to when the information was last updated. Most websites list a date the information was reviewed at the bottom of the page.
Before you make any changes to your care plan, always talk about the app or website with your doctor, nurse, or social worker. Sharing information that you found online with your medical team is a great way to talk about health topics that matter to you, help you make smart decisions about your care and show you are engaged in your health. Your care team may also be able to suggest websites and apps that have helped other patients like you.
Here are some health websites that young adults have found useful.

Got Transition
Teens Health
Kids Health