Should My Child See a Pediatrician or Family Doctor?

June 21, 2023

When it comes to choosing a doctor for your child, you have two options: a pediatrician or a family medicine doctor. Both types of doctors have the training and experience to take care of children.

Both pediatricians and family doctors can provide regular check-ups and preventive care for children. They can treat various illnesses and injuries, and make sure children are growing and developing properly. They also give guidance on important vaccinations for children.

The difference between the two is that pediatricians only focus on treating children, while family medicine doctors take care of patients of all ages, including children. Family doctors have a wide range of medical knowledge that covers many health concerns for both children and adults. They can treat common childhood issues like asthma, pink eye, and bedwetting, as well as provide specialized care for teenagers and birth control advice. They can also help adults with chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. Some family doctors can even deliver babies and provide women’s health services.

On the other hand, pediatricians specialize in children’s healthcare. They have specific training and expertise in caring for babies, children, and teenagers. They are well-equipped to handle the unique needs of children, including premature babies and those with special needs. Pediatricians can provide guidance on breastfeeding for premature babies, reassure children with conditions like asthma, and help with behavioral issues such as ADHD. Pediatricians typically treat children from birth until they turn 18.

So, when choosing between a pediatrician and a family doctor for your child, consider whether you prefer a doctor who specializes solely in children’s healthcare or one who can take care of the entire family. Both options have their own benefits, so it’s important to choose the doctor that suits your family’s needs best.

What to Consider About Pediatricians

Since their focus is on children, they may be better at talking to kids on their level and to parents about delicate, personal issues with sensitivity and understanding.

Pediatricians often “do rounds” in hospitals, so your doctor could see your baby after delivery and know their history from day one. But your child will need to switch to a new doctor when they become an adult, usually by the time they’re 18 years old.

Some pediatricians don’t offer gynecological care for girls.

What to Consider About Family Doctors

One doctor can treat your whole family. When you and your child are both sick, you can go to the same doctor together. It may save quite a few trips over the years.

A family doctor that sees you all may be more aware of issues that could affect the whole family. They may be more familiar with everyone’s medical history, too.

One drawback of a family doctor is that they don’t spend as much time caring for children as a pediatrician does. On average, family physicians say they spend about 10% of their time treating children, according to a 2014 study.

But when your child becomes an adult, they can continue seeing the same doctor. That means their health care provider will have firsthand knowledge of their medical history and an established relationship built over the years. If you think you’ll be moving before your child grows up, maybe this won’t be as important to you.

Or perhaps your child is older and would be more comfortable being around adults at the office rather than “little kids.”

Special Health Needs

For a child born as a preemie, with a birth defect, or who has other health concerns, you may want to choose a pediatrician.

Some babies need to see a pediatric specialist, a doctor focused on a particular area of health for children. For example, child with a heart condition may benefit from working with a pediatric cardiologist.

Supreme Medical Center Family Medicine and Pediatrics Clinic

The family medicine doctors and pediatricians at Supreme Medical Center offer personalized care to all of our patients. These physicians are trained to care for and treat patients of all ages. We work hard to ensure every patient we treat feels comfortable while we are diagnosing and treating their health conditions. Family care doctors make for excellent primary care physicians because they can treat patients from childhood into late adulthood, giving them the ability to see a patient’s medical history first hand. If you are looking for a primary care doctor to offer quality health care to you or your family in the Houston area, contact Supreme Medical Center today.

Schedule an Appointment for Your Child Today

At Supreme Medical Center we believe a happy life begins with a healthy body and mind. Our goal is to ensure each one of our patients reaches their goals by eliminating medical concerns and issues that have the potential to stand in their way with quality preventive care and treatment.

We work with our patients to ensure they are being heard and are treated with respect and care. Schedule an appointment with our team today to learn how Supreme Medical Center stands out from the other medical groups you have worked with.


Supreme Medical Center
350 N Sam Houston Pkwy E
Suite B240
Houston, TX 77060
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