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Should My Child See a Paediatrician or GP?

Navigating parenthood for the first time is an exciting, yet nervous time. New mums and dads want their little one to receive the best possible care, and being in contact with a trusted GP or paediatrician is a part of this. But how do you know which doctor to visit?

Below, we explain the differences between the doctors, explaining whether to book an appointment with your GP or paediatrician.

What is a paediatrician?

Paediatricians are specialist doctors who are experts in childhood development from newborn to adolescent age. In Australia, they must graduate from medical school, then complete at least six further years of specialised training.

After birth, one of the hospital’s paediatricians is responsible for your baby’s first health check. In the following months, it is unlikely you will need to visit a paediatrician unless your baby has a health condition that needs specialist treatment or management.

Should I visit my child’s paediatrician for everything?

If you had a runny nose, stomach bug, bump or bruise, it is likely you would first visit your GP for medical care. If necessary, your GP would refer you to a specialist for further investigation or treatment. Your child’s needs are the same.

General Practitioners are highly skilled and should be your first point of call if your baby is otherwise well. For health checks, immunisations, common colds, unexplained rashes and other mild medical concerns, book an appointment with your GP.

If your GP is concerned about the health of your child, they will refer you to a relevant specialist, which may be a paediatrician.

What makes a GP right for my family?

GP’s study for at least 10 years in Australia and are equipped to deal with a range of medical concerns. Treating children and adults, they are the first point of call for people suffering from a mild or unexplained illness. They also play a major role in preventative health care, completing health checks and tests to ensure you stay healthy.

Most people build a connection to their family practice and continue to visit their GP across different stages of their life. When selecting a GP, choose a doctor with a calm, reassuring approach. Nobody likes to feel rushed or unheard, especially when it comes to your health.

Should you visit a GP or paediatrician?

Ultimately, paediatricians provide specialised care for complex conditions. Your GP on the other hand is your go-to medical doctor for general health concerns and check-ups.

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Northern Districts Physiotherapy

Northern Districts Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic was established in 1995 and consists of an energetic team of highly qualified and experienced professionals who take the time to understand ...


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