Difference between Pediatrician and Family Doctor
Almost every family has a family doctor that they routinely go to whenever a family member is ill. For families with young children however, a pediatrician is equally important. How do these two health professionals differ and what are their relative advantages and disadvantages? This comparison article explains everything.
Pediatricians are medical doctors that specialize in the care and treatment of babies and young children. All pediatricians have gone through the required four years of medical school, but they should have had to go through three years of specialty training in pediatrics as well. Pediatricians will also have had to pass through a rigid qualifying exam in order to be board certified.
Family doctors are health professionals that have had to go through the requisite four years of medical school as well, and three additional years of specialty training, but this time in general family health care. In addition, they will have had to undergo 150 hours of further education every three years.
Training and Qualifications
In addition to the aforementioned educational requirements, pediatricians will have to pass a board exam given by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Much of their additional training focuses on health care for people below 21 years of age. The clinics of these professionals as well as the personnel that staff them will be more focused on the needs of younger patients as well.
In addition to the previously educational training, family doctors will have to pass a board exam given by the American Academy Of Family Physicians. These professionals are trained in providing health care to people of all ages.
One of the most significant advantages of pediatricians is that they specialize only in children. This means that they are generally more familiar with health issues that children go through, and they are often better able to answer questions regarding the concerns of new parents.
As for the family doctor, the most important advantage is that they are familiar with a broader range of illnesses, since they have been trained to care for adults as well as children. In addition, they are more likely to be familiar with all there members of your family, which may be beneficial in cases wherein a specific illness occurs in more than one family member.
One of the potential disadvantages with a pediatrician is that he or she is less likely to recognize illnesses that are rooted in family history.
The family doctor for his part has the disadvantage of having less experience in pediatrics than pediatricians. This may be an issue for first time parents, and those with specific concerns related to their children.
Similarities and Differences
- Medical doctors that specialize in the care and treatment of babies and young children
- Have gone through the required four years of medical school and three years of specialty training in pediatrics
- Have gone through four years of medical school and three additional years of specialty training in general family health care
- Have to undergo 150 hours of further education every three years