At 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, Stephen Kemp, had to move his size-14 feet to avoid tripping toddlers at his pediatrician’s office in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “It was kind of awkward, but I love my pediatrician. We’re really good friends,” says Mr. Kemp. Now 19 years old and a student at Butler University, he’s still looking for another doctor he likes as much and still consults his pediatrician occasionally.
Every kid outgrows the pediatrician at some point–but when that point comes can vary. Some can’t wait to escape the Highlights magazines and Barbie Band-Aids. Others never want to leave–finding it just as awkward to be the youngest patient in a grown-up internist’s waiting room by four or five decades.
These days, more young adults are staying with their pediatricians at least through their college years, says David Tayloe, a past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, who still practices in Goldsboro, N.C.
Even though most colleges have health services on campus, when students are home for weekends and holidays and need a doctor, the pediatrician’s office may be staffed when the adult-oriented internist’s office isn’t.