Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Family Practice Physicians and Pediatrics

I recently received an email inquiry about bringing pediatricians to Grinnell. I thought this was a good question that others may have wondered about. Here’s my reply about why we have not focused on recruiting a pediatrician to the area.

We do not have plans to recruit a pediatrician to Grinnell at this time. The reason is due to the strong family practice presence in our community. The truth is, board-certified family physicians are very well-trained in pediatrics in addition to the full range of family medicine. There is nothing a pediatrician does that is outside the normal family practice physician’s capabilities.

There are pediatric sub-specialties, just as there are with adults. A general pediatrician would also refer really sick children to pediatric sub-specialists at the same rate as a family practice physician. These specialists see patients at Iowa’s large teaching hospitals, Blank Children’s Hospital, or the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

There is absolutely no reason to take a child to a pediatrician over a family physician for routine medical care. In fact, you could easily make the argument that when a family physician is caring for the entire family for routine medical care, that physician is in the best position for diagnosis and treatment since the social situation that exists in most families greatly impacts diagnosis and treatment.

The American Academy of Family Practice web site, www.aafp.org, has additional information regarding your question under the patient section.

I have always trusted and appreciated the care my children have received from family physicians when I have lived in Des Moines, Jefferson, and Grinnell. We are especially blessed in Grinnell with many outstanding family physicians. I can wholeheartedly recommend them to your children’s routine medical care.

The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent GRMC’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

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