Consider your communication style. As a new parent, you should be able to ask anything ― no matter how trivial ― and get the information you need. It's important that you feel comfortable with your health care provider. By thinking about this during your pregnancy, you can decide by the time your baby has arrived.
What is a pediatrician?
A pediatrician is a specialist with a four-year medical school degree and three additional years of residency training solely in pediatrics. He or she has the skills to treat a broad range of childhood illness from the most serious of disease to everyday problems. Some pediatricians also have received further specialized training in a specific area, such as allergy, neurology or developmental issues. Many people appreciate knowing that their baby's doctor has advanced training in childhood illnesses and development.
What is a family physician?
A family physician is a specialist with a four-year medical school degree with three additional years of residency training in family medicine, which encompasses all major medical areas. Family physicians focus on whole-family relationships and caring for people of all ages. Many people appreciate knowing that their family doctor also can care for their new baby and everyone else in the family, and has a complete picture of individual needs and the family situation. If you would like a family physician to provide care for your new child, discuss this with him or her early in your pregnancy.
What is an associate provider?
An associate provider could be an advanced-practice provider, such as a nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner or physician assistant. While each of these provider's training programs differs, an associate provider has received advanced, detailed training in the care of infants and children. They provide primary care for children, including ordering and interpreting diagnostic and lab tests, and prescribing medication. Their focus is often on holistic care tailored to each person. As with family physicians, associate providers also focus on whole-family relationships. Associate providers may be available in Pediatric and Adolescent Medicineor Family Medicine.