How Old is Too Old?

Having the same pediatrician from birth to adulthood can make it very difficult for you to let go. The question then becomes how old is too old? At what point do you let go and find another doctor. You may be wondering why you cannot keep the same doctor. Separation anxiety is a real problem even when it comes to your physicians. Pediatricians are doctors that specialize in taking care of children, not adults. There are differences in your develop after you reach a certain age. At this point, pediatricians are no longer trained to give you the care you need. If you are reaching adulthood and unsure about who should take care of you next or when you should leave, this information should help.How Old is Too Old md top10md

From Child to Adult

As soon as you are born, your relationship with doctors begin. The first doctor you come in contact with is the obstetrician. You would think your obstetrician takes care of your child, but the pediatrician or neonatologist takes over. Every child grows up and reaches adulthood eventually. As much as you may like the pediatrician, you have to move on. Growing up only means more doctors and more procedures. It is good to stay current with your doctors and get the best doctor for your needs.

Doctors for Children

Pediatricians are the primary care physicians for children. Some pediatricians are trained to take care of you from birth to the age of 21; this is extremely common in rural areas where there is a lack of physicians. In large cities, pediatricians tend to specialize more. Instead of working with children from birth to the age of 21, they may only work with certain age groups. Neonatologists specifically work with newborns and premies. Some pediatricians start working with children after the age of 2. The next stage is adolescents. Adolescent age ranges from about ten years old to nineteen years old. Each stage of development has a unique set of characteristics. Having a doctor that specializes in these stages of development can help give your child better care.

Family medicine doctors are a different type of physician. They take care of the whole family. They are doctors that can almost do anything. Some perform paps smears, and others may even deliver. There is no age limit to a family medicine physician. They are trained to take care of you from childhood into old age. Some people prefer family medicine physicians over pediatricians because they can keep them for life. It is sometimes nice having one person that knows and takes care of the whole family. Trying to find a new doctor can be taxing sometimes.

When Do You Leave?

Pediatricians, in general, take care of children up until the age of 21. Many pediatricians prefer to take care of you up until the age of about 18. Once you hit 18, it is not mandatory that you leave, but you should start finding a new doctor. Sometimes leaving your pediatrician is harder for the parent than it is the child. Once you reach adulthood sometimes going to the same pediatrician only makes you feel like a child again. Many children feel the need to leave after the age of 18. You as a parent have to understand that they are growing up, and although you may not want to believe they are adults, they are. Most parents go through that separation phase, and it is natural. Now it is time to figure out what doctor to choose.

Other Options

how old pediatrician doctor physician child kid top10md mdNow that your child has outgrown their pediatrician, it is time to find an alternative. There are several doctors that your child can go to now. They also need to have specialty doctors. You can choose a general practitioner or a family medicine doctor as your child’s new physician. Both doctors are very similar. Family medicine doctors focus on the whole family, but general practitioners work to give you overall preventative care and will refer you to a specialist when needed. Family medicine doctors have more overall training in many areas as stated earlier. Young women, also have to start finding a gynecologist. Pediatricians do not have the training to take care of those type of things. Sometimes a dermatologist is good to have as well for both men and women. Many children begin to experience acne, and it is good having dermatologists that can help manage acne and skin problems.

Growing up is not always easy. There are many changes taking place inside and outside. As you grow up and change, you have to get the appropriate doctors to help assist in your growth. There is not one doctor that can do it all. As much as you may want to stay with your pediatrician, you have to let go and move on to a doctor that can be more effective in your overall care.


There are hundreds of Pediatricians to choose from; however, not all doctors are created equal. Child health care takes the skill and finesse of an experienced Pediatrician. That’s why we’ve selected your city’s best Pediatricians – to make the decision process easier for you and your family.

For your peace of mind, Top10MD Pediatricians’ credentials are validated yearly to verify medical licenses have no serious patient care sanctions, current Board Certifications in their given medical specialty, current DEA & DPS licenses, and malpractice insurance. A Top10MD has at least 5+ years experience or has performed 300+ procedures in their given specialty and a current Patient Satisfaction Score of 8.5 or higher.

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