When you need to make a decision about your child’s health, it can be difficult to know whether your pediatrician or family doctor is the best choice. There are advantages to either option, but how do you know which is the better one in the long run? These are some of the pros and cons of a pediatrician and family medical practice to help you make the best choice.
The pros of seeing a pediatrician
A pediatrician is a doctor specializing in the care of children and how to prevent and treat illnesses commonly found in the young. To become a pediatrician, a doctor must go through three full years as a pediatric resident after they have completed medical school. They are trained to understand the development of children. They know what symptoms or signs to look for if your child is experiencing any difficulty or delays in their development.
Children can often make difficult patients. They are generally fearful of strangers and anything they do not understand. A pediatrician will have experience in dealing with these fears and have developed strategies on how to overcome them to calm your child. They also understand how to help make your child more comfortable by creating a calming, child-friendly environment.
Waiting rooms in a pediatric clinic are designed to be more child-friendly than other clinics by offering toys and books to make your child feel more comfortable. You may find kid’s shows playing on a TV and there may even be sugar-free treats offered.
Not only is the experience of going to a doctor scary for your child, but you also may feel some anxiety. Pediatricians understand how parents worry about their child’s health. Many take extra time during office visits to fully inform parents of any health concerns or to answer questions about specific issues.
The cons of choosing a pediatrician
The biggest downside to choosing a pediatrician for your child is that they will eventually become too old to visit their doctor. It is typical for a pediatrician to treat children until they reach the age of 18. Some teenagers prefer to move to clinics that are not geared towards the young as well.
A pediatrician’s focus will be on the health and development of your child. This focus means they may not have a full history of your family. If there are hereditary health issues in your family, a pediatrician will not have this information unless you give it to them. Make sure to disclose any family medical history so it can be added to their medical records if you choose a pediatrician for your child.
The pros of a family doctor for your child
Family medicine covers a wide range of medical symptoms and treatments. Your family doctor will have experience in treating patients in all stages of life suffering from a variety of illnesses. Having your family doctor care for your child will mean you have one doctor treating every member of your family. When your family visits one doctor, it can be more convenient, especially if appointments are made often.
When one physician sees all members of a family, he or she will note any similarity in conditions they may experience. The doctor will have your entire family medical records available to compare and will be aware of any hereditary conditions that may exist.
The cons of a family doctor caring for your child
While a family doctor may have experience in symptoms and treatments, they do not all have experience in dealing with children. They are also not trained in child development and may not look for ways to comfort reluctant patients.
Without the child-friendly environment offered in a pediatric clinic, your child may become fearful of doctor visits. If you do choose to use your family doctor in caring for your young child, bring plenty of entertainment along to make the wait more pleasant.
Dr. John M. Young and his team are committed to providing the best clinical experience for you and your child. Contact Us by email or call us at (806) 354-0404 ext. 3330 to learn more about our Services and to schedule an appointment. You can also visit us in person at 1500 S. Coulter St. Suite #3 in Amarillo, Texas.