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Family Practitioner Vs. Pediatrician

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
We just recently moved to a new state and are looking for a doctor for our 2.5-year-old dd. Do you think it's better to go with a Pediatrician or a Family Practitioner? DD is selectively vaxxed, but she's not due for any boosters until age 6, so I don't think this will be a big issue since it will be a few years before this even needs to be discussed. She's almost never been sick and even when she has been it's always just been a mild cold so I never take her in. We sporadically do well-child visits (they're always around dd's birthday, which is in December, peak cold season, so I have to admit we skipped her 2-year visit and to be honest, I don't much see the point anyway). A lot of Pediatricians seem to be a bit too involved, but I don't know if that's totally a bad thing although it can be irritating. What are your thoughts? Anyone here see a Family Practioner and like him/her? Can you tell me about your experiences? What would you recommend we do?
post #2 of 25
I have used a family practitioner practice for my children. As a group they are more friendly to "crunchy" type parenting, give less parenting advice & so on. It is also convenient to have just one doctor for the family. I have not had any negative experiences. They are qualified to provide primary care to children, just as are pediatricians.
post #3 of 25
We got lucky and found a family practitioner who is also a holistic ped on the side. We go to the family practice because they accept our insurance and we all see him. So far we've been very pleased.
post #4 of 25
we dont see a pediatrician b/c in our area, they are very pro vax'ing. I find my family practitioner awesome and very open to alternative methods of medicine (we see a chiro quite often also). there is also a naturopath in her office that she will consult with.
post #5 of 25
My understanding is that in general, a general practitioner will be more willing to work with you. I have a GP/Family doctor for DS.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua View Post
We just recently moved to a new state and are looking for a doctor for our 2.5-year-old dd. Do you think it's better to go with a Pediatrician or a Family Practitioner? DD is selectively vaxxed, but she's not due for any boosters until age 6, so I don't think this will be a big issue since it will be a few years before this even needs to be discussed. She's almost never been sick and even when she has been it's always just been a mild cold so I never take her in. We sporadically do well-child visits (they're always around dd's birthday, which is in December, peak cold season, so I have to admit we skipped her 2-year visit and to be honest, I don't much see the point anyway). A lot of Pediatricians seem to be a bit too involved, but I don't know if that's totally a bad thing although it can be irritating. What are your thoughts? Anyone here see a Family Practioner and like him/her? Can you tell me about your experiences? What would you recommend we do?
We have a pediatrician for our daughter. I like having this pediatrician because she is affiliated with Texas Children's Hospital which is a leading hospital. I like that I can get her in same day if needed and that our pediatrician takes me seriously. She isn't patronizing or anything.
That being said - not everyone can find someone as great as she is!
I have heard that their office may no longer be accepting our insurance after March 2009 - if that's the case I will more than likely move her to our family doctor and make it more convienient.
If we hadn't found the pediatrician first I would have gone family. Mainly because you can keep a family practice for life where as you must change at age 18 from pediatrician.
post #7 of 25
When my dd was first born, we used a family practitioner. She was okay, but my child was basically just a number. And that whole first year the first thing the dr. would say to me was "So what kind of formula is your baby on now?" At every single visit I had to tell her that we were bfing. It was just so irritating. After a year I found a pedi who is wonderful. She fully supports me and the decisions I make concerning my child.
post #8 of 25
We have a family practice doc. He has been my doc since we moved here almost 16 years ago. My husband goes to him as does my mom, MIL and FIL. So he knows our family history which is wonderful.

Also, when I mentioned not vaxxing on schedule with my son (my dd is vaxd on schedule) he just said okay, and now when ever we go in he just asks if we'll be doing any today. No biggie. He also didn't give me a hard time for nursing a 2-year-old and when she was a newborn and I mentioned we were all sleeping together, he just smiled and said that's the best way to get a newborn to sleep. Most of the peds around here would have freaked out.
post #9 of 25
We love our family practice doctor. He doesn't see children all day so when my family comes in he is always genuinely happy to see us. Plus he is more easy going on things like vaccinations and willing to listen to my opinions on managing my children's health.
post #10 of 25
While pregnant, I thought we absolutely had to have a real pediatrician only because that is what most of my friends use.

I asked my nurse practitioner for a recommendation and she steered me away from a ped. to a good family practice that is very convenient to our home.

We are very happy with our choice. The actual doctors in the practice (2) are both fathers of four children each, their wives EBF all their own kids, and they are open-minded.

We often see the practitioner and I love her too. Scheduling is a breeze, which is important to me.

My friends that go to pediatric practices in our area complain about the gate-keeper attitudes of the scheduling desk and the seemingly high use of meds.
post #11 of 25
We have been seeing pediatricians here in the US. When we were in Canada we had a family doctor (General Practitioner).

The pediatricians seem a lot more wound up, inclined to give advice, etc. One thing I really liked about having a family doctor was that he knew the family history since he saw the whole family... in our case, really the whole family, grandparents, and a lot of the aunts, uncles and cousins.

I'm pretty good about ignoring doctors when I think they're talking crap, so I don't mind the pediatrician. DH and I find the conflicting advice from peds in the same practice to be funny.

That said, the pediatric practice we go to is not pushy with the vaxing. They asked us if we planned to vax (obviously willing to accept yes, no or some as the answer).
post #12 of 25
Well, I will always take my kids to a Ped. I tried to take my daughter (with special needs) to a FP Doctor when we lived in Montana. The Doctor refused to see her. She said no, she needs a Ped for her care. Which I agreed, but the reason I was looking at FP was because they were on my insurance, the Ped wasn't. No Peds in town were on our insurance.
post #13 of 25
We have a family practitioner too. She actually treats four generations of our family. The good thing for us is that because her practice does pregnancies and births, it's pretty much one stop shopping. However she also has a serious amount of pull at our local hospital with the chief of pediatrics so when our little one was dehydrated because my milk hadn't come in, we were meeting with him at about 7pm an hour after she called. We've also found that while she is a wealth of information, she's not terribly pushy with the parenting stuff.

I wish I could say the same for some of her residents. Fortunately most of them have been wonderful, but I had one who was training to be a pediatrician, plus was a first time mom and just full of herself to no end and was lecturing me a few days post partum with my second about parenting. Then she had the nerve to answer her cell phone during the exam. Fortunately my doctor reamed her, which was good because I was on the way to a total meltdown. Someone obviously forgot to tell her to treat post partum moms like you're handling a live grenade!
post #14 of 25
I love our FP. I think "family medicine" is inherently more "holistic" than "the specialists".
post #15 of 25
We use a family practioner. We started out with a new ped after my youngest was born but he retired and I don't like any of the other peds in the area. My oldest started going to the fp when he was around 3 and I liked him much better than the peds.
post #16 of 25
I'd recommend finding someone who is willing to accept your beliefs. I've tried FPs and Peds, MDs and DOs, and frankly, almost all were the same. Now I have a ped who tolerates my views of vaxing...first doc of any specialty who does.
post #17 of 25
I actually vote for nurse practitioner. I love my dd's NP, and I see her, too. She's incredibly responsive, supportive of breastfeeding and open about vaxes, I'm always able to get in touch with her, she seems much more aware of recent research and evidence-based medicine than peds I've spoken with in general...
post #18 of 25
I use a FP whenever I have the option for my ds. The little experience I've had with the peds is that they tend to be a bit paranoid. But, I'm thinking it had more to do with who I saw than peds as a whole.

When switching my insurance over to this region after I moved the lady wrote down a request for my son to get a ped. I crossed that out and checked the box for FP. I'd love to have more options, but if I don't want to have to pay out of pocket I need to take what insurance says I can have, so I prefer a FP.
post #19 of 25
We see a General Practitioner, he's great.
But I have GOT to find out who to complain to about the paperwork. The stuff for one year olds says that at one year and 20 lbs, your child MUST be turned forward facing in the car.
Um... no. It's MAY be turned, and the actual fact is, the kid should stay rear facing as long as possible, preferably to the limits of the seat (35 lbs and the height varies by manufacturer). And with my seat, which is cheap as dirt so relatively common (Cosco Scenera) the kid is supposed to stay rear facing to 22 lbs (minimum) and 34 inches (minimum). My son didn't hit 22 lbs until he was nearly 2, and he STILL hasn't hit 34 inches.
But that's not the doctor, that's the company in Cali that does the paperwork (we're with Kaiser).
post #20 of 25
DD has never been to a ped. Our whole family goes to the same FP. They have NPs, GPs, a naturopath, and an acupuncturist in the practice. They don't take any insurance, so we have to pay out of pocket and file our claims, but it has been worth it. When the whole family is sick it is nice to have one-stop shopping. The doc also has been practicing in town for a long time and has great connections with specialists.

That said, I wouldn't hesitate to use a ped if there were any in town that were open to our laid back natural health parenting perspective. Even the local AP favorite ped pushes antibiotics for earaches and gives nasty lectures about vax.

I would try a family practice first and move to a ped if I had a special reason to, but that's the way I handle all specialists for all family members.

good luck!
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