Great Debate - Family Practitioner Or Pediatrician?

29 December 2016
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog

Having children means you have another life to take care of, which means you will need to consider the healthcare for your children. There are two main types of primary care physicians available to you, family physicians and primary care physicians. The physician types offer different services for you and your child, so you want to evaluate the differences to decide which is a better option for your family.


The biggest benefit that comes with using a pediatrician to care for your child is the fact they specialize in the health of children. They must serve a three-year pediatric residency, which gives them the ability to identify neurological and developmental problems quicker than a family physician. A pediatrician will have more patience with children and knowing how to identify and treat illnesses that are common in younger ages. However, the best part of pediatric offices is the fact they have the waiting room and physician rooms are designed for children, complete with toys, puzzles, and books. Most will even have rewards for children after their visit, possibly with candy or a sticker.

However, pediatricians will only treat children until they are 18 years old. This means that the doctor your child begins to trust and feel comfortable with will not be the one they can use when they are an adult. It is recommended that, if you select a pediatrician for your child's primary care physician, you switch to a family practitioner by the time your child hits adolescent age, you consider changing types so they are comfortable with the doctor through puberty. You will also want to make sure that you have medical records transferred to the doctor's office because they may not be able to access them from the family physician office.

Family Physician

The other option for a primary care physician is selecting a family physician. These doctors are well versed in all ages and can be the person's doctor from birth to death. This is extremely beneficial if you have a child that has a chronic condition or a history of family medical problems. This is because your entire family can visit the same doctor and that physician will have access to all of the medical history. In addition, the family doctors are more experienced to handle reproductive health, extremely helpful for teenage children.

Family practitioners do not have the same experience in pediatrics as a pedestrian does, however. They go through a standard residency medical program that only includes a small time in the pediatric department. This means they may not have the patience that a pediatrician has with your child, and their rooms are also not often set up as kid-friendly. This may mean that you will leave the doctor without getting a reward for your child, or you may have to bring your own quiet bag to help entertain your child while you wait.

It is difficult to decide what you should do, and only you know what is best for your family. However, you may find it best to use a pediatrician for the first half of your child's childhood years, and then switch to a family practitioner by the time your child is 9 or 10 years old. Visit websites like for more information.