While pregnant I asked a midwife about the difference between securing a pediatrician and a family practice doctor for our lad. She said there was no big distinction and it was mostly a matter of personal preference. We chose a pediatrician based on the assumption that specialist care would be a good thing (the same reason we initially chose the midwife group over going to our family doc). I’ve now come to think there are some big disparites, and to know what’s a good fit for you is as simple as asking yourself the question- do you want parenting advice or strictly medical care?
I’m sure my opinion is largely tainted by our experiences to date, and I hesitate to make such broad generalizations, but pediatricians seem to have set agendas and expect the parents to listen to their advice as gospel. They want to impose their standard regimen and don’t appreciate it when you attempt to deviate from the norm. They dislike when parents do their own research and are extremely suspcious of information found on the Internet, no matter the source. They encourage questions, as long as you don’t come across as challenging their wisdom.
I believe decisions such as where the baby sleeps, when/what/how to start feeding them, the disciplining methods to use, and whether to let them “cry it out” are ours to make as parents. Unless there is a medical reason behind their direction, I’m not sure why we should take their advice over that of any other seasoned parent.
I’ve had a coworker tell me that their pediatrician is their #1 guide, an expert on all things related to their child, including non medically related topics such as appropriate car seat use ( I’ll trust the manufacturer’s manual to give me the height/weight limit, thanks!). Some may agree, but I just want a doctor to help us with the medical diagnosis and treatment when our child is ill. Is that too much to ask?
Apparently, yes. We’re looking to take our lad to our old family practice doc.