Your child has to see a doctor. The question is, which type of doctor should your child see: a pediatrician vs family doctor?

Both have their upsides, but their downsides as well. So, to help you decide between the two, we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of each below. Let’s get into it.

The Pros of Pediatricians

Pediatricians are specifically trained to treat children. As such, by taking your child to a pediatrician, you can be sure that he or she is getting the most specialized care possible.

Pediatricians understand childhood development in great depth. Because of this, they’ll be able to spot problems in your child that other doctors are unlikely to spot. Catching these problems early in their existence can be vital in treating them successfully.

There’s also the issue of bedside manner. Because a pediatric doctor is trained to work with children, he or she will likely do a better job of comforting them during appointments. And seeing as many children have a fear of the doctor’s office, this can be a huge benefit.

The Cons of Pediatricians

The cons of pediatricians are far outweighed by the pros. That said, they still need to be considered.

Perhaps the biggest con is that pediatricians are no longer able to treat patients once they’ve turned 18. As such, once your child becomes an adult, he or she will have to find a new doctor.

The other con is that pediatricians aren’t always able to obtain family medical records. This can be a problem when attempting to diagnose medical conditions.

The Pros of Family Doctors

While family doctors might not possess the same level of child-oriented experience that pediatricians possess, they are often able to overcome that shortcoming with a host of upsides.

For one, family doctors are for life . . . or at least until they retire. Unlike with a pediatrician, you don’t have to stop seeing your family doctor when you turn 18.

There’s also the issue of convenience. Because everyone in the family sees the family doctor, several family members can be treated in a single trip.

Family doctors will also have medical records for the entire family. This can be hugely beneficial when attempting to diagnose a child.

The Cons of Family Doctors

The major con of family doctors is that they’re not specifically geared toward kids. Not only do family doctors lack much of the specialized education possessed by pediatricians, but their offices lack many of the child-centered amenities possessed by pediatricians’ offices (ie. stuffed animals, toys, etc.).

As a result, kids don’t always feel as comfortable with family doctors as they do with pediatricians.

Pediatrician vs Family Doctor: Which Will It Be?

When it comes to the issue of pediatrician vs family doctor, personal preference reigns supreme. In truth, both options are viable. The key is to weigh the upsides and downsides and make the choice you feel most comfortable with.

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