Globally, 385,000 babies are born every day, which is approximately 140 million a year. It’s incredibly exciting to bring a new life into this world, but with it comes a significant amount of responsibility. If you are expecting a baby soon, you are probably in the research phase. It’s time to learn all about how to take care of this new baby, and one of the first things you need to consider is their doctor. A great place to start is deciding between Family Medicine vs Pediatrics, so you can determine which is best for you and your family.
Keep reading to learn all you need to know.
Family Medicine vs Pediatrics: What’s Similar?
Family doctors and pediatricians are both extensively trained and have experience working with children. They can both provide routine preventative care for your children and care for a variety of illnesses and injuries.
Both types of doctors will make sure your children are achieving certain milestones. They will both recommend and give essential childhood vaccines and immunizations.
Family Medicine vs Pediatrics: What’s Different?
The biggest difference between family medicine and pediatrics is the age of the patients that they treat. Because of this difference, their training and knowledge are also significantly different.
Family Medicine Guide
Family doctors treat patients of all ages and at all stages of life, meaning they can treat babies, young adults, adults, and older people. Because family doctors work with so many different types of people, they have extensive knowledge about every type of illness, injury, or disease that could develop at any point in life.
Family doctors spend four years at medical school and then at least three years as a resident in various areas of medicine. This may include pediatrics, internal medicine, and gynecology.
They must pass the American Board of Family Medicine exam to become board certified. It is then required that they take it again every seven years to become re-certified.
Family doctors can treat a baby with an ear infection, an older person with a broken knee, and a new adult looking to get birth control. Some family doctors deliver babies and provide prenatal care. Some have OB-GYNs on staff to provide women with healthcare.
There is no specialization in family medicine. Because of this, there’s an excellent chance that your doctor will know what you’re talking about as soon as you state your concerns.
Pediatricians are doctors that work in children’s medicine. Major focuses include children’s physical, mental, and social health.
Generally, pediatricians treat patients ages zero to eighteen. They have specialized training that focuses on treating children and caring for their specific needs.
Pediatricians attend medical school for at least four years, and then spend three more years as pediatric residents. Like family doctors, they must pass the board exam to become board certified. They must then retake this exam every seven years to ensure they stay on top of children’s medicine.
Because of this, pediatricians are known for providing excellent treatment for premature babies, and for treating children with a wide variety of illnesses or ailments.
From the age of zero to two, pediatricians would see your child multiple times a year. Once they turn two, they would see them at least once a year for check-ups and immunizations unless other illnesses or injuries would occur.
Benefits of Working With a Family Doctor
If you already have a family doctor that you know and trust, it can be a smooth transition to have your new baby be seen and treated by them as well. This can make you feel more comfortable as a parent since this is a doctor that you have a history with.
This also allows the family doctor to be there for your entire family from the very first moment. It can be quite convenient if multiple family members need to see the doctor at the same time.
If your doctor has treated your family for a while, they will also have extensive knowledge that will allow them to more easily identify patterns if necessary.
Benefits of Working With a Pediatrician
Working with a pediatrician makes sense if you want a doctor who will be entirely devoted to your child. Pediatricians love kids, which means you know they will take care of your child throughout their time with them.
Because they specialize in children’s health, they will be more likely to quickly and accurately diagnose anything that might come up. There are dedicated specialists that can help with anything from teething to breastfeeding to bed wetting.
If your child needs special care involving physical, mental, or social health, working with a pediatrician is the right move. When you decide to choose a pediatrician, you’ll find that some offer more services than others, such as this inpatient pediatric rehabilitation center.
Whatever you’re looking for in terms of care for your child, there’s a pediatrician out there that is perfect for you.
Just keep in mind that they will need to eventually transition to a family doctor at some point.
Which Is Best for Your Family Medicine vs Pediatrics?
When discussing the topic of family medicine vs pediatrics, you’ll find that they are actually quite similar. It comes down to age and specialty.
If you want a doctor that only focuses on children’s health, a pediatrician is a right move. If you want a doctor who has extensive knowledge of all walks of life, a family doctor may be more for you.
Remember that there are benefits to both. It’s wise to make consultations with various doctors before committing to anything.
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