We are often asked what the “age limit” for pediatric patients is, particularly as kids start to head off for college. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) identifies 21 years as the upper age limit for pediatric clinics and we thus choose to be available to our patients until they are through college (and sometimes a bit beyond that). The so-called “late adolescent” phase spans from age 18 to 21 years and includes what we all know are some of the biggest transitions in life. While physical growth may have slowed, emotional development is very much ongoing and in fact there is “increasing evidence that brain development has not reliably reached adult levels of functioning until well into the third decade of life.” (1)
As college-aged kids begin to take on more responsibility, we’ve found that The Village Doctors are a useful resource for them as they experience their first illness away from home or when they have other physical or mental health questions or concerns. As private pediatricians, we can provide care by phone or email and know that kids appreciate having someone they are familiar with on the other end of the line. Of course, any time that they are local we’re happy to see them in the office as well. We often help kids decide when it’s time to get an appointment with the student health center or local physician, and can help facilitate care as needed. Here are some Healthy Tips from the AAP. Please let us know if TVD can help with any school forms, medication recommendations or prescriptions. We are so excited for all of our college-bound patients and can’t wait to see them whenever they’re home!
Dr. Jackie Phillips