Five Reasons to Choose a Pediatrician as a Primary Care Physician

It can seem easier to simply go to your family doctor for your child’s medical needs. But starting from birth, children need specialized care for basic and special health problems. Pediatricians fulfill this role through their special training and jobs.

Ultimately, as a parent, you need to decide what is best for your child depending on your unique needs. But consider these five reasons to choose a pediatrician as your child’s primary care physician.

Specialized Services

Right from infancy to their teen years; kids have special health needs. Pediatricians are trained to care for children until they reach early adulthood.

Pediatricians have knowledge of general medicine but also about the special needs of children. They are trained to recognize and treat various childhood conditions and diseases. Pediatricians complete their residency in pediatrics after their medical school. They are experienced in understanding changing needs of growing children. Apart from providing basic health services, pediatricians also track a child’s mental and physical milestones.

Pediatrics also covers specialized medical fields. If your child requires special care for any heart or kidney problem; a pediatrician trained in cardiology or nephrology can offer expert as well as general medical care. Kids with physical or mental conditions often require long-term treatment. A pediatrician can not only treat your child but will be able to evaluate her medical history on every well-child visit as well.

A pediatrician in a group practice can also refer your child to another specialist in her clinic and coordinate her health. Pediatricians from a group practice can also be available for their patients even if a child’s primary doctor is not available for some genuine reason. For example, if your pediatrician Silver Spring MD works in a clinic with other pediatricians then you can find all medical-related services for your child under one roof. You won’t also have to wait for hours to see the pediatrician on every visit as doctors can manage their schedule better in group practices.

Personalized Care

Pediatricians understand that treating kids is different. Children can be fussy when visiting their doctor. Some kids can become quiet and not respond to the doctor’s questions. These things can make correct diagnosis and treatment difficult. But pediatricians are prepared for such situations. They are able to strike a friendship with their kid patients and make them feel comfortable during their visits.

A pediatrician’s office setup is also different than the general clinics. It is equipped with toys and games for kids to use while waiting for their turn to see the doctor. The furniture and the waiting area are also designed keeping the need of kids in mind. Kids can then feel comfortable about visiting the pediatrician.

Mental Health Expertise

A pediatrician who has been looking after your child’s health needs from day one or from a young age will also understand your child’s mental status better. Children can experience depression and anxiety as a part of their growing up. They can also suffer from mental conditions or learning disabilities. A pediatrician can not only offer treatment for mild mental conditions but also refer your child to the right medical specialists if necessary.

Often, parents can miss subtle signs of depression in their kids. But a pediatrician is aware of your child’s medical history. They are trained to notice even slight changes in mood or mild physical symptoms that can be dangerous if not treated in a timely manner.


Children require guidance at various stages of their lives. Hormonal changes, growth spurt, and physical changes also affect a child’s emotional and mental well-being. Kids are not always comfortable talking to their parents or older siblings about body-related topics. But they might be open to seeking some counseling or help from their doctor. Since, kids are already familiar with their pediatrician; it is often easy for them to open up to them rather than go to a new doctor.

Additional Services

Often, kids require approval from their doctor to participate in sports and athletic activities in school and colleges. Then there are vaccinations that kids need from infancy to their teen years. Such services cannot be managed through family physicians.