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June 1987

Pediatrics to 'Young Adult' Medicine?

Author Affiliations

3507 Hawthorne Dr Dover, DE 19901

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(6):598. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460060016002

Sir.—Dr McAnarney1 forsees an increasing oversupply of pediatricians. I agree with her. She suggests that some pediatricians shift to geriatric medicine. I disagree with this and instead suggest an alternative closer to her own subspecialty—the medical care of those between their late teens and 30s ("young adults").

I base this recommendation on my experience with this group in private practice from 1978 through 1985 and on demographic and epidemiologic data and projections. Consider the following: (1) Young adults are numerous, but no physician group focuses particularly on them; (2) they are the most logical focus for preventive health measures; (3) the medical problems they have are by and large the same as those of the adolescent or older child; (4) pediatricians have the greatest experience of any group in dealing with these persons, since they more commonly visit a physician as parents than as patients; and (5) the

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