Breaking Down the Differences Among Common Medical Services

a child being examined in a pediatric clinicMedical errors are among the leading causes of death in the United States. In a study published in 2016 in BMJ, professor and surgeon Dr. Martin Makary and his colleague revealed how at least 250,000 people die annually due to these errors.

Mistakes can range from misdiagnosis to poor communication and relationship between patients and doctors. But since medical malpractices are not in the billing code, they do not appear as causes on the death certificate.

To reduce the risk of experiencing medical errors, experts now encourage patients to be more proactive. These include being more discerning in choosing their doctors. Wellnessmadesimple.ca also cites the importance of having the right physician, someone whose specialty fits the patient’s needs.

The fast-growing health solutions team in Vancouver compares some of the most common medical services.

Pediatrics

Pediatrics is a branch of medicine that deals with the treatment, management, and overall health of children from birth to adolescence. Often, the confusion sets in once the child hits puberty. When do children stop seeing a pediatrician? In the United States, the age of adolescence is up to 21 while in Canada, it’s 18 years old.

Family Medicine

Family medicine is so broad; some of its responsibilities breach other fields, such as internal and pediatric medicine. The biggest difference is the context of treatment. Family doctors treat and manage diseases, taking into consideration the health conditions and predispositions of the entire family. For this reason, these physicians can treat patients of varying ages. Nevertheless, for more complex diseases, patients should see specialists, such as pediatricians.

Internal Medicine

Internal medicine is adult medicine. In theory, patients who are already past the adolescent age should begin seeing an internal doctor. Health conditions can change over time, especially when patients grow older.

Is it possible for patients to prefer one treatment over the other regardless of age? The answer is yes. In fact, in Canada, more children see their family doctors than their pediatricians.

What’s more important is the level of trust, comfort, and honesty both patients and doctors can build in their relationship. The best doctors will always have the patient’s quality of care and life as a priority. They don’t hesitate to refer patients to other specialists when it’s necessary.