Some adults just can’t say goodbye to their pediatrician

Doc time

Pediatricians are used to talking to their patients’ parents about the MMR and HPV vaccines. Increasingly, however, some pediatricians are talking to their adult patients--some in their 20s and 30s--about birth control and career choices, according to a New York Times blog post.

Why are adults holding on to their pediatricians? There are a few dynamics at play, for instance, the long-wait time to get a doctor’s appointment, which can be as long as four to six months in New York City. Or the alternative: Handing over a $3,000 initial concierge fee to get access to a doctor, according to the post. Another is the fact that the Affordable Care Act requires coverage for children under their parents’ insurance until they turn 26.

Some pediatricians appreciate their more mature patients. “I ask [my adult patients] about friends, school, career choices,” Ramon Murphy, M.D., a New York-based pediatrician, told the newspaper. “I wasn’t cut out to wear clown noses and funny ties.”

The waiting room at Murphy’s practice features both a “Sesame Street” theme and reading materials for the adults he treats, reports the Times.

While many pediatricians stop treating patients when they turn 18, that isn’t always the case. David Bell, M.D., medical director of the Young Men’s Clinic and the Family Planning program at New York-Presbyterian, stops treating patients once they turn 35. Cynthia Pegler, M.D., also a New York pediatrician, welcomes adult patients to her practice until they decide to become parents themselves.

- read the blog post