Pediatricians vs general physicians, what’s the difference

Pediatricians vs general physicians, what’s the difference?

The medical field is filled with various professionals who offer medical assistance with all our mental, emotional, and physical needs.  While this certainly provides us with many options, it also makes it difficult to know who to go to and what to consult them for.

So for starters, we’ll be breaking down the differences between pediatricians and GPs using this quick guide.  As a little bonus, we’ll also provide various helpful resources pertaining to medicine, medical services, finances, and other similar topics.

Explaining the Differences Between Pediatricians and General Physicians

Explaining the Differences Between Pediatricians and General Physicians

Pediatric Services

Pediatricians are doctors who specialize in rendering medical treatments to newborns, children, and pre-teens.  These services can range from non-surgical offerings like blood testing and medical prescriptions to procedures such as open-heart surgery.

Those who practice pediatrics are often sought out for their specific ability to diagnose and treat newborns.  Since they are extremely delicate and still developing, babies require precise care and persistent medical attention to address health issues quickly.

As mentioned earlier, pediatricians can also perform surgery provided they have chosen to undertake this specialization.  Pediatric surgeons are highly trained and expertly qualified to conduct surgical procedures on patients as young as 6 months old.

Overall, a pediatrician should be consulted for any medical matter pertaining to patients below the age of 14 years old.  Beyond this age, a pediatrician may surrender patient responsibility to a general physician.

General Physician Services

As their title implies, general physicians are doctors with no specific specialization other than being familiar with almost all medical aspects.  While this may seem unimpressive, the effect a general physician can have on a patient’s health is truly astounding.

General physicians are a patient’s first line of protection from medical risks and pre-existing health conditions.  Almost all GPs work to encourage healthier lifestyles among patients by condoning practices such as smoking, inactivity, and over-eating.

Regardless of what a patient’s medical concern may be, a general physician will almost always be able to render some form of aid.  This help can come in the form of a medical prescription or a much-needed referral to other physicians like dentists, neurologists, or even psychiatrists.

Many folks often consult general physicians for medical advice on common matters such as aches and pains, bodily growths, or general feelings of illness.  It is a general physician’s job to alleviate these concerns and advise their patients to take the next best course of action.

To reiterate, pediatricians are doctors who specifically treat children, while general physicians are doctors who treat adults for basic concerns.  

It’s worth noting that both of these professionals are covered by New Zealand’s public healthcare system.  The only exceptions to this rule are specialized non-essential services such as dental cleanings, braces, psychological evaluations, and the like.

Now that you’re familiar with the differences between pediatricians and GPs, we hope you’ll have an easier time deciding which medical professional to consult.  We also hope that this guide and the resources in it will be of some use to you if you ever seek out medical services.