When couples decide to have children, they need to look for a primary care doctor to tend to their children's needs. Often, this means finding a pediatrician. While pediatricians offer excellent medical care, another option is to select a family doctor. If you are expecting a child, or if you already have children, here are a few reasons to consider family medical care instead of separate doctors for you and your little ones.
Family Medical Condition Treatment
Whether your family has a history of certain types of cancers or genetic predispositions to certain diseases, a family care physician can provide treatment for you and preventative care for your children. You may find that your children need to be screened for conditions you have but they have not yet developed, and your family care physician can coordinate all of these moving pieces to help ensure the lasting health of all your immediate family members.
Continuity Of Care
One challenge that parents face is transitioning their children from pediatric care to adult care. This means finding a new doctor and establishing care with that physician. With a family practice doctor, there is no need for a transition. Your children can receive continuity of care from infancy all the way through adulthood. Having the same doctor throughout those years can help identify certain medical problems early, and it also helps your family feel a level of trust in your care provider.
Family Illness Treatment
In families with young children, contagious illnesses can spread quickly. If one member of your family is hit with the flu, a cold, or another ailment, your family doctor can provide guidance for how to avoid the rest of the family from becoming ill. In some cases, that means providing prescriptions to help ward off illnesses in their early stages to prevent full-blown illnesses.
Coordination Of Support Services
In the event that one of your family members becomes gravely ill, your family care physician can also serve as a care coordinator for everyone in your household. This may mean providing referrals to therapists and support groups that address various types of cancer and other terminal illnesses, For conditions that aren't life-threatening but are life-altering, your doctor can provide help and referrals to other types of services. For example, if it is found that a family member is deaf or hearing impaired, the family care physician can provide help finding adaptive equipment and support groups to help your family cope with a new reality.
Talk to your family about changing doctors, and look for a family care physician you feel comfortable entrusting the health of you and your children to. Once you've found a physician you like, schedule an appointment for each family member to establish care.