Around this time of year, friends and loved ones come together to celebrate the holidays and reflect on all they’re thankful for from the previous year. It’s also around this time that we’re faced with decisions that will affect our families for the upcoming year — annual enrollment of benefits!! For some, it’s simple to determine the best benefits to suit upcoming healthcare needs. For others, numerous factors should be considered.

One important consideration that needs to be made is the type of doctor that you’ll see throughout the year — and perhaps one of the most difficult decisions to make for yourself and your family. Is a Family Medicine physician the best fit? Or should we consider an Internal Medicine physician? What about an Obstetrician/Gynecologist? A Pediatrician?

“When it comes to your doctor, there’s no one solution that fits every family perfectly,” said Dr. Manju Pandey of the Prosper Family Medicine clinic. “When it comes to you and your family’s health, it’s important to take all facts into consideration and make the best decisions for you.”

Here are the primary differences between physicians to help you make sound choices for the upcoming year:

Family Medicine Physician – A family practitioner can serve as a primary care physician (PCP) for you and your family. Generally, any non-urgent situations can be seen by your PCP. They treat a variety of illnesses and conditions, conduct routine and preventative screenings and can help refer you to any necessary specialists if needed.

Internal Medicine Physician – Internal Medicine physicians serve in the same capacity as a Family Medicine practitioner, but the internist focuses solely on disease in adults. There are differences in training and the clinical approach when compared to Family Medicine physicians due to the type of patient being treated, but can generally be seen for similar purposes.

Obstetricians/Gynecologists – OB/GYNs are experts in the female reproductive system, but many women also utilize their OB/GYN as their PCP. Generally, OB/GYNs will need to be asked or requested to fill the role as PCP but many are willing to do so. Again, due to medical focus, the training and residency performed by an OB/GYN differs from that of a dedicated family practitioner.

Pediatricians – Much like the OB/GYN, pediatricians have a very specialized area of focus — being the health and wellness of newborns, infants and children. Because pediatricians are more honed in on various symptoms and susceptibilities of children, many families will opt to take their children to a pediatrician over a Family Medicine physician.

At Methodist McKinney Hospital, we’re proud to be your trusted source of health and wellness. Regardless of what personal approach you take regarding the healthcare providers you choose for you and your family, we are here to partner with you on your journey. To learn more about our family of physicians, visit us at: www.MethodistMcKinneyHospital.com