We all want the best for our families. But when it comes to getting medical care, not all doctors are created equal. Even among family physicians, there are varying levels of expertise, training, and certification. So what is the best kind of doctor to have for your family? The answer may surprise you.
While most people assume that a general practitioner (a primary care physician) is the only professional who can serve as a family doctor, several other specialties can also offer similar services—albeit with some important differences. Read on to learn more about these different types of doctors and which one is right for your family.
What Is A Family Doctor?
The term family doctor has no official, universally recognized definition. A general practitioner (GP) or family physician is often considered the same thing, though a GP is the more accurate term. A family doctor can also sometimes be referred to as a general practitioner or a primary care physician (PCP).
In many cases, though, a family doctor can refer to someone who specializes in specific areas of medicine—like obstetrics or pediatrics. That’s because family doctors can come in all shapes and sizes. But what they all have in common is that they offer primary care to patients of all ages. They can also treat their patients for minor illnesses and injuries, diagnose and treat chronic illnesses, and provide vaccinations. Family doctors are the first step in a very long process. They are the people you go to first when you need medical care. They are specialists in general.
The term gynecologist is sometimes confused with the obstetrician. In reality, though, the two are very different. Obstetricians are medical doctors who specialize in the care of women throughout their pregnancy and during childbirth. Gynecologists, or OB-GYNs, are physicians who specialize in the health of women’s reproductive systems.
In other words, OB-GYNs deal with the female reproductive system from puberty through menopause. They are trained in all aspects of women’s health but particularly focus on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to the female reproductive system, as well as the health of newborns. As such, they are experts in family and general medicine, as well as pre-and postnatal care. OB-GYNs in Walpole area are the best family doctors because they are trained to look at the whole person, which allows them to treat the whole family.
A pediatrician is a family doctor who specializes in the care of children from birth to the age of 18. Pediatricians are trained in general medicine. They can, therefore, treat minor illnesses and injuries, diagnose and treat chronic illnesses, and provide vaccinations. They are also trained in all aspects of children’s health, including developmental issues and behavioral problems.
When it comes to family health, pediatricians are specially trained to recognize and treat children’s developmental issues as they relate to health and wellness. When it comes to recognizing and treating chronic illnesses in children, pediatricians are specially trained to manage asthma, allergies, and other long-term health issues.
Pediatricians are also trained to recognize and treat behavioral issues in children that may be a result of neurological, psychological, or developmental issues. As such, they are trained to look at the whole child, which allows them to treat the whole family.
Internal Medicine Specialist
Internal medicine specialists are family doctors who have chosen to specialize in the care of adults. They offer everything a family doctor does, but with a particular focus on the health of adults. As such, they are specially trained in managing long-term chronic illnesses, and in diagnosing and treating conditions that are common to adults, but can be easily overlooked in children. They can also diagnose and treat minor illnesses and injuries and provide vaccinations.
In terms of offering care to the whole family, internal medicine specialists are trained to recognize and treat adult-specific health issues. This can include conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, which are often managed by lifelong medication regimens. As such, they are trained to manage chronic adult-specific conditions that affect the whole family.
An audiologist is a health care practitioner who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss. For example, one of the audiology practice in Colorado Springs provide hearing tests and fit and manage hearing aids. They can also offer advice on how to manage tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and other conditions that affect the function of the ears.
When it comes to family health, audiologists are trained in the health and wellness of the ears and how they relate to everyday life. They are specially trained to look at the connections between hearing loss and other chronic illnesses, including depression and anxiety. As such, audiologists are specially trained to look at the whole family when offering care.
Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner
A certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNP) is a type of nurse who has completed advanced medical training and can therefore diagnose and treat diseases. In certain states, CRNPs can prescribe certain medications for their patients. They can also provide basic medical services, such as health education, health screenings, and immunizations. As such, a CRNP could be the best family doctor for your family.
However, this depends on the state in which you live, as each state has its own regulations regarding nurse practitioners. Whereas a family doctor is a physician, a CRNP is a nurse with advanced medical training, who can provide care in a similar way to how a family doctor would. As such, CRNPs are trained in all areas of family general medicine and can diagnose and treat minor illnesses, chronic illnesses, and provide immunizations.
When it comes to choosing the best kind of doctor for your family, it’s important to think about who in your family needs the most care. For example, young children, older adults, and people with chronic health issues all have different needs. Likewise, each specialty comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to research each before deciding who is best for your family.