Pediatricians And Family Doctors: The Difference

by | Nov 22, 2016 | Health Care

As a parent, guardian or caregiver to a child it can be confusing to know if a specialist is required for the child of if the family doctor is the best option. In general, most children from birth into their teen years will see pediatricians for their annual checkups, vaccinations and scheduled appointments, but they may also see the family physician for non-emergency types of health issues.

The benefit of seeing pediatricians instead of general family physicians is the specialized training these doctors have in working with children of all ages. They have education and experience in the treatment of childhood diseases and congenital health conditions as well as in developmental stages, mental and emotional health and well-being of the children they see.

Help for Parents

Another role for pediatricians is in providing information, education and support for parents specific to their children. This is important for any child, but it is vital if there is a chronic or acute health condition.

With the specialized training and ongoing education a pediatrician has to complete, parents have the peace of mind their child is getting the most recent and best options for treatment. This includes proactive health care such as encouraging kids to stay fit, teaching nutrition and helping children to understand the changes in their body as they grow and mature.

The Whole Child

While these doctors are focused on pediatrics and the medical care for children, they also look for areas where the child may be experiencing behavioral challenges, stress, depression or anxiety. They will often refer children to pediatric therapists to provide a holistic treatment for the child.

The family doctor typically begins to see an older teen at some point in his or her life. This may be earlier or later depending on the comfort level of the family and the overall health of the child.

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