Benefits of Pediatrician vs. Family Care Doctor Q&A
Seeing family medicine physicians or pediatricians has benefits. From birth to maturity, children’s health and well-being are the main emphasis of pediatrics. Both family medicine physicians and pediatricians can offer pediatric treatment. At Pediatric Associates of Frisco, Dr. Sreemdevi, MD, and her compassionate team love to serve children. For more information, contact us or request an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 9191 Kyser Way Suite 500, Frisco, TX 75033.
Table of Contents:
What is the difference between a pediatrician and a family care doctor?
What are the benefits of pediatric care?
Why should you choose a pediatrician?
At what age should you switch from a pediatrician to a family doctor?
Pediatric care is the specialized field of medicine that focuses on the health and well-being of children. While there is overlap regarding health conditions that affect children and adults, the symptoms, risks, severity, and treatments can vary quite a bit, particularly as the child continues to develop, meaning all of these components will continue to change. Pediatricians have received specific training to provide them with the knowledge and tools to provide children of all ages with high-quality preventative and therapeutic health care.
The main difference between a pediatrician and a family care doctor is that a pediatrician only provides health care to children who are younger than 18 years of age, whereas a family doctor is qualified to provide medical care to patients of all ages, including children, their parents, and grandparents. Pediatric care is a specialized field of medicine that focuses on a broader range of children-specific health concerns and extends that focus to the physical, mental, and social health of young patients. They are often more experienced in treating children with special needs as well, accurately diagnosing mental health disorders, providing treatment for children that is different than it would be treated for adults (such as asthma or obesity), and are also qualified to provide tips for breastfeeding parents. Family doctors will also have received specialized training through their years of residency to properly treat children for all of these conditions but will likely have less hands-on experience and will have seen a smaller range of conditions and treatments in children.
All children below the age of 18 will benefit from seeing a pediatrician regularly, with the most important benefits including the ability of the pediatrician to track the health and development of the child, ensure their health and safety through preventative care and regular check-ins, and will be able to monitor changes as they occur. One of the benefits that pediatric care has over family medicine is that pediatric offices and health care providers are typically better-equipped for caring for children who may be fearful or anxious in medical environments, often decorating the medical office with child-friendly furniture and posters, providing toys in the waiting rooms, and ensuring that the environment is less “sterile” and more comforting for all pediatric patients. Visiting a pediatrician for regular check-ups will also help to desensitize children to a medical environment, resulting in less anxiety or stress around medical appointments as they continue to age.
Both pediatricians and family doctors are fully trained and qualified to provide medical care for children, but there are several advantages to taking your children to a pediatrician rather than your family doctor. One of the most substantial advantages is that a pediatrician will have more specialized experience with children at every age group, allowing them to have a broader knowledge of how different health conditions progress at different ages, how symptoms may display in various ages, and a broader knowledge of what is considered healthy or within the healthy range for various milestones. This means that they will be able to more accurately diagnose health conditions or diseases in children of all ages and will be able to determine more effective courses of treatment that are personalized to suit the specific needs of individual children. Pediatricians are also more experienced in treating children displaying discomfort or fear around healthcare providers, making it easier for many children to accept essential care.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently removed an upper age limit for receiving pediatric care and switching to a family doctor, although the age limit had previously been 21 years old, which was raised from 18 years old in the 1960s. The reason that the upper age limit has since been removed is that it is more important for the physicians that their patients can make that transition based on their specific needs rather than an arbitrary number, So, while most patients will transition to a family doctor from pediatric care sometime after they turn 18 and before they turn 21, this decision should be made on a case by case basis.
If you want a doctor who has substantial training in the treatment of children, then visit Pediatric Associates of Frisco. For more information, contact us or request an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 9191 Kyser Way, Suite 500, Frisco, TX 75033. We serve patients from Frisco TX, Little Elm TX, The Colony TX, McKinney TX, Prosper TX, Aubrey TX, Oak Point TX, Lakewood Village TX, Plano TX, and Dallas,TX.