Family Practitioner Vs. Pediatrician - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

Allison:  a little bit Waldorf, a little bit Medievalish, and always"MOMMMMYYYY!" to sweet Cecily since 12.22.05
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#2 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 09:47 PM
 
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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.
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#3 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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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.
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#4 of 25 Old 09-25-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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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.
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#5 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 12:08 AM
 
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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.

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#6 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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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.

Loving Mother to our adoption miracle, Riana :, and our angel baby, Xavier. Trying for baby. Wife to my Hero! BLOG LINK IN PROFILE
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#7 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 11:28 AM
 
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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.
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#8 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 12:05 PM
 
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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.

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#9 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 12:51 PM
 
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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.

Mother of two. : 4/05 and 1/07 Wife of one. : 7/01
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#10 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 02:22 PM
 
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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.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#11 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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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).

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#12 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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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.

Anne, Mama to Conner 2/27/04 blahblah.gif  Gabrielle 2/6/06 W/LMC-TCS, Neurogenic Bladder, AFO & KAFO wearer, Neurogenic Bowel energy.gif & Delaney 5/12/08 mischievous.gif &  Beethoven cat.gif& Gizmo cat.gif

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#13 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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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!

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#14 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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I love our FP. I think "family medicine" is inherently more "holistic" than "the specialists".
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#15 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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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.
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#16 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 05:33 PM
 
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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.

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#17 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 06:13 PM
 
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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...
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#18 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 06:54 PM
 
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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.

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#19 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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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).
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#20 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 07:03 PM
 
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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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#21 of 25 Old 09-26-2008, 08:22 PM
 
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I like pediatricians for kids, they are much more knowledgable about things that kids get and about issues that affect them wheras family doctor's tend to freak out a lot. I have brought dd to a family practice doctor a few times and each time I have regretted it, they just freak out or don't freak out enough and it isn't good. Her pediatrician is really good and has been doing this a long time, she has a great reaction for everything.

If there is any chance of a real childhood problem then I definitely think you should go with a child specialist, my friend's son has excema that got to a dangerous point because her family practice doctor wouldn't do anything for it and told her she was over reacting. As it turned out the pediatrician she saw said that this is something she can sue the family practice doctor for neglect over.
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#22 of 25 Old 09-27-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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Well, I can't speak from much experience since DD is 9 days old, but I take her to my family practitioner. I love my doc, have been going to her for a few years, and she sees lots of babies. I feel completely comfortable with her, and she's really supportive of everything so far. I like that she will care about both of us, not just the baby.

Also, another couple things I remember when I was a kid: I was obsessed with being grown-up, and didn't like going to a pediatrician when I was a pre-teen. They're baby doctors, ya know? Also, I was going to a male doc and I'm super shy and would feel more comfortable with a female. So those were two reasons I am taking DD to my doc. She can take care of her as long as she wants, into adulthood, and I hope DD will be completely comfortable talking to her about any girl issues. (Well, I hope DD is not shy like me and can feel comfortable talking to a male doc too, but that's another issue )

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#23 of 25 Old 09-27-2008, 12:44 PM
 
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Doctor of Naturopathy is the best.
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#24 of 25 Old 09-27-2008, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your responses. Definitely lots of good info to consider . . .

I was going to ask this in the Finding Your Tribe arena, but this board has more traffic and it's related to my origional query so here goes:

Does anyone know of a good family dr., nurse practitioner, pediatrician, naturopath, or all-around holistic physician in the Pittsburgh, PA area, preferably in the North Hills region?

Allison:  a little bit Waldorf, a little bit Medievalish, and always"MOMMMMYYYY!" to sweet Cecily since 12.22.05
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#25 of 25 Old 09-27-2008, 10:44 PM
 
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We see a med-peds. This is a doctor who is board certified in both Adult Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. For us this is the best of both worlds. We (myself, my husband, and our son) have the same primary doctor who sees all of us and is able to treat us individually and as a family. And he is great with all the kid issues and problems. My son has autism and asthma, so he sees a lot of specialists at our local children's hosptial. Our doctor has privileges at the children's hospital (in our area, family doc do not) as well as the major adult hospitals. The specialists and our med-peds doctor work well together to see that our son gets the treatments he needs. He also has great contacts with adult specialists for when my husband or I have had problems come up.

I love our doctor. He and his staff are great with time management. We don't end up spending a lot of time in the waiting room and I have never felt rushed through an appointment. Most importantly, I feel that our doctor respects me as a patient and as a parent. He always takes the time to explain things clearly and he makes sure that I get all my questions answered. He presents me with treatment options and helps me find information to make informed decisions.

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Mom to an amazing little guy, age 9 (Autism, Hyperlexia, Dyspraxia, Albinism, Chromosome Microdeletion)

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