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I want to be a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, but not sure what to specialize in? Family Doctor or Pediatrician?

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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Love B,


Pediatricians and family practice doctors are physicians who care for children and adolescents. A pediatrician's practice, however, is limited to those age groups, while a family practice doctor also cares for adults and seniors.


Pediatricians:



  • Children and adolescents are the focus of a pediatrician's practice and much of the care a pediatrician provides is directed toward the prevention of childhood disease and disability. Pediatricians often see a newborn infant in the hospital and continue to care for that infant until the age of 18.


Family Practice:



  • A family practice physician is trained to care for the whole person -- regardless of age -- and to coordinate care if a patient needs a specialty referral, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Family practice doctors diagnose, treat and manage child, adolescent and adult medical conditions.


Differences:



  • A pediatric residency is focused exclusively on the diseases and illnesses that affect children, while a family practice residency covers medical conditions for all age groups. Unlike a pediatrician, a family practice doctor might perform minor surgery, deliver babies and provide routine gynecological care for adult women. Family practice doctors also manage many conditions associated with normal aging, such as menopause, and take care of the elderly. A pediatrician might manage the care of all the siblings in a family, while a family practice doctor could manage the care of children, parents and grandparents in the same family.


Similarities:



  • Pediatricians and family practice doctors both attend college and medical school. Both must be licensed to practice in the United States and most are also board-certified in their respective specialties. Both pediatricians and family practice doctors care for newborns, children and adolescents. They diagnose diseases and injuries, manage chronic medical conditions such as asthma, and provide preventive care such as well-child check-ups and immunizations. Both pediatricians and family practice physicians practice in hospitals, clinics and private offices, with the exception of neonatologists, whose practice may be confined to the hospital. They might be employed by hospitals,clinics or managed care organizations, be members of group practices or work as independent small business owners.


In: http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/family-doctor-vs-pediatrician-10706.html


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