Pediatrician or Family Doctor?

Kimberly - posted on 05/16/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )




I've just moved to the US from the UK and I was wondering what's best for my 20 month old daughter, a pediatrician or a family doctor my husband and I can go to as well. In the UK we had a GP and then a child's health visitor that I could take my daughter to if I had any concerns not big enough for the doctor to handle, the health visitor also did her weighings and measurements. My husband came home from his new job the other day after getting all his medical insurance information and said, do you want her to have a pediatrician or family doctor? and I said, I have no idea! lol

Also, my husband and I are considering trying for our second baby soon. I'd like to (after finding a doctor, of course) go for a pap smear before we start trying as I haven't had one in about 5 years, so I'm due! My question is, I have NO ONE here to watch my daughter while I go to doctor's appointments. Do doctor's usually allow you to bring your children to appointments with you?

Any helpful insight and opinions would be appreciated! :)


Jenn - posted on 05/16/2011




I have taken my children to the obgyn if no one could watch them. The nurses and doctor were great about it and I certainly wasn't the only who had to. Lots of mamas have to see the doc with children in tow! We also have always used a pediatrician for our children. Not only because I like their expertise but they also have offices and staff directed to the care of children. Be sure to interview a few while with your child to get a good feel for how they are with her and her reaction to them. We use a practice with several doctors (we have ours and the others are backup) on staff and nurses on call for after ours.


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Jenn - posted on 05/18/2011




Definitely ask if they have a wellness room and a sick room...or at least separate sections in the same big room. That helps to protect sick, well and newborn children. Find out the hospital, we use a childrens hospital, that potential pediatricians work in. They don't work with all hospitals. If you have strong feelings about vaccinations or the general schedule for them, be sure you bring it up. I won't use a doctor that isn't flexible with the vaccine schedule. And...find out if it is difficult to get same day appointments usually it isn't with pediatric offices but better to ask. Anything you can think of to ask the doctors, write it down, then compare later or just go with your mom instinct!

LauraBeth - posted on 05/18/2011




Google search question to ask a dr, it helped me alot when looking for my childs and mine too, I always look to see if the Dr. office has a seperate room for sick people and people just there for a check-up (that is one that is top on my list)

Also you should be able to bring your child to any Dr. office if not I would not use that dr. add that to your list of questions for them. hope this helps! best of luck

Kimberly - posted on 05/18/2011




Thanks for your replies ladies :) I should have been more clear, I'm actually American, but moved to the UK when I was 20, got married, and had my daughter at 25 (lived in the UK for 7 years) so I do know what a pediatrician is, I was more interested in people's personal preferences for your children. What confused me was that in the UK after I had my baby I asked about finding her a pediatrician and they looked at me like I was crazy because you only take your child to a pediatrician in the UK if there's a serious problem with your little one. After she was born a pediatrician had to give her an exam and release her from the hospital, but that was the one and only time she's ever seen one. I think the doctors in the UK are much less personal, at least in my opinion, I never saw the same GP at my local doctor's surgery and so nobody knew me or my child when we went it. The doctor that gave my daughter her 8 week injections said to me afterwards while my baby was screaming, "calm her down and then you can go..." I requested never to see that specific doctor again, but I think that's just the attitude out there (in London at least) Everything medical is free on the NHS so you deal with what you get.

How do I go about interviewing a doctor?? What do I say when I call them up? I've never done this before! More help please :)

Charlie - posted on 05/16/2011




Pediatrician's are specialised in childrens health unlike general practitioners ( family doctor )

Sherri - posted on 05/16/2011




A pediatrician expertise is children. Where a family doctor has many areas he is good at and not just one area of expertise. When it comes to my children it is pediatrician all the way.

At my OB/Gyn my children could come in with me. I usually just took them in their stroller and gave them some tempting snack and talked to them as it was going on.

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