(Closed) Family Practice Doctor versus Pediatrician

posted 8 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
Member
745 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I don’t have kids but my sister went through this same thing when she had her kids.  Paediatricians are great because they have more in-depth knowledge of childrens’ bodies and issues, but she chose to stay with the family doctor because she knows our family medical history (we’ve all been going to her for a long time, since we were little).  Just my 2 cents.

Post # 4
Member
8353 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2011

Pediatricians are usually more up to date on the care of infants and children than a general practitioner/family doctor. If you and your husband feel more comfortable with your family doctor though, I would stay with him/her. If something should arise where your child would need more specialized care, I am sure your family doctor would refer you elsewhere.

Post # 5
Member
226 posts
Helper bee

I don’t think that pediatricians are more up to date, I think it depends entirely on the doctor.  Any good doctor will stay up to date on information regarding patients they see. 

I love the idea of having a family doctor that my whole family can see.  Which is why I currently see a family doctor.  I think it’s just important to find a practice that you’re comfortable and happy with.  My doctor’s practice is a husband and wife team, they also have a nurse practitioner.  They all sort of have there area of expertise. 

Post # 6
Member
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

It’s a tough call,but I think should be based on a few things. Babies are seen in the hospital by a pediatrician, and most will give you their cards and sometimes even an appointment to see them in their offices for the first follow-up visit. That,to me,would be the time to decide where you’ll feel most comfortable taking your baby. We’ve always had a family Dr., but with my first,I decided to see the pediatrician for her first visit. I hated it,and here’s why.

I needed to change the time of my appt.,but had to wait an additional 2 weeks to be scheduled. The waiting room was packed,and we spent almost 3 hours there on that first visit. The Dr. had a great reputation,but made me feel stupid by downplaying my questions and concerns. After his examination,he told me to get her dressed and he’d be back to tell me what was wrong with her feet and legs…and disappeared for another half hour. I left frazzled and crying.

My family Dr. told me from the beginning that he’d be happy to see her,but to also know he’d be the first to refer us out for anything he wasn’t comfortable with or could treat. I had known him for years, and had no doubts about him as a Dr. He cuddled my babies, they never cried when getting vaccinations as he was so gentle with them, and more importantly, they could continue to see him forever. Some pediatric practices will only see children to age 14, and then you still need a family practice to see them anyway. It can be easier to keep all records in one place than switching later,especially at that age. Every practice is different,tho,and I’ve heard of some still treating into the college years.
My personal vote is for a family practice Dr. but you have to decide what’s best for you.

Post # 7
Member
7052 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I agree.  I’m in the medical profession and know that there’s a vast difference b/w the focus of a pediatrician vs. a general practicioner.  Granted, they both studied babies and children in med school, but when you graduate you work in your specified area of medicine.  Pediatrics is just that, the study of children and babies and it’s their expertise. 

Even in my field (nuclear medicine technology) there’s some of us who have subspecialized in pediatrics (I did but I do all of it) and know when my son is sick, I don’t take him to my hospital, I’ve taken him to our wonderful children’s hospital here in ATL.  Ask your general practicioner who they would recommend as a pediatrician. 

 

Post # 8
Member
1763 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I have a family practice doctor and wouldn’t change it for the world. He knows all of us and the repor that we have is great. Each practice is different, but when I was was in labor with my second daughter is was during the week, clinic hours and my doctor was at the hospital with me the enitre time. He rescheduled his morning so he could be there to deliver.

Pediatricians are great. As pp pointed out they take care of kids all day long. In our area it is really hard to find one who is taking new patients and getting appointments iss hard. Our family practice doctor is very up to date and if something came up that he didn’t feel comfortable handling he would refer us to someone.

Post # 9
Member
7490 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

This topic is super relevant to me right now, as I am switching my 6 year old’s doctor.  When I first had her, I found a wonderful pediatrician.  We all loved her so much.  And when she was young, I was really appreciative of her specialty skils and expertise.  But now that my daughter is getting older, I almost feel like we’ve graduated beyond that point.  So this week, I am having her records transferred to the doctor that I, Fiance and my daughter’s dad (my ex), all go to.  I feel like now, it is more important to have a family persepctive for her care.  For future children, I am still undecided as to if I will get them a pediatrician, or just to the family practice doctor from the beginning.

Post # 10
Member
979 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I think it is most important to find a good doctor that you really like, whether they are a family practice physician or a pediatrician.  It seems like if you already have a family practice doctor that you like it would be worth it to see if they would see your child.  Or, like other PP have said, if they suggest you see a pediatrician instead, see if they have good recommendations for you. 

I prefer family practice physicians because the whole family can go to the same doctor and the child can see the same doctor all the way through adulthood, which is a big plus in my book.

Post # 11
Member
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

I have to disagree with people who say that a pediatrician is necessarily better.  Sound of needle sliding across record.  Err… What???  The pediatrician just said that?!

Yeah, for routine healthy baby care, a family practice doctor can do a phenomenal job.  They have the added bonus of knowing your whole family and being able to see the child in the context of that unit. 

Both Pediatricians and FPs are going to know if a vaccine was recalled (just happened with the RotoRix vaccine) and other major news.

The reason to get a pediatrician is if your child has anything more complicated than routine care.  In my experience, if a child has a heart murmur, eczema, chronic asthma or any other condition that is going to require ongoing treatment (ie not just colds and flus), then you should think about a pediatrician.  It’s really hard for an FP to keep up on all the nitty gritty details of various chronic disease management details for kids and adults, and quite frankly, adult chronic disease is what they see more often.

I’ve researched peds in your area and know the pickings are slim!  If you were on the other side of the Lake, I’d have no problem with Peds there, but it’s tougher where you are!

Anyway, just a few thoughts 🙂 

Post # 13
Member
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

I think today there are so many specialties, that most Drs. refer out for many chronic conditions. They may treat asthma themselves,but most likely you’d be referred to a pediatric allergist if the need arose.

Post # 14
Member
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

Smyley- while that’s true, it is unnecessary if there is just common chronic asthma or other simple chronic illnesses that a pediatrician is more than equiped to treat.  Imagine trying to make an appointment with a specialist every time your kid has a regular asthma exacerbation.  What a pain! Plus, it isn’t a very good use of medical resources to use the asthma specialist (who is usually called in for refractory cases) for stuff that a general Pediatrician sees every day.

It’s kind of overkill to go to a specialist for regular kid conditions.  Also, in kids with chronic conditions, you want someone who is going to be competent in being able to coordinate the care and at least have some competence in long term management of chronic pediatric medical problems.

FPs are fabulous, but they have to know a lot of stuff, and it’s almost undue burden to ask them to coordinate specialty care that a pediatrician does day in and day out.

Post # 16
Member
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

I think you misread my response. I said they most likely will keep asthma patients and not refer them out. Allergies that require regular monitoring and injections are almost always referred out . My older daughter has seen an allergist almost her whole life (poor thing).

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