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Mother and father coo over a new baby.

October 29, 2019 • read

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Pediatrician vs GP: How to choose?

By now you’ve probably heard the good news: we’ve launched pediatrics in Ontario (with more provinces to come)! Now, you can book appointments with doctors who are dedicated to children’s specific developmental and health needs right on Maple. But did you know there are fewer than 3,000 practicing pediatricians in Canada? This means that few Canadian children ever see a pediatrician. And we wanted to change that.

But, you may be asking, how do I know if I should book an appointment with a pediatrician or if I should see a general practitioner on demand?

That’s a great question!

First, it’s important to understand the difference between the two kinds of doctors. Pediatricians spend at least 4 additional years after med school studying kids’ health. They’re experts in the challenges faced by babies, children, and teens. General practitioners (GPs) are family doctors. They are incredibly well trained generalists. They can treat most illness that kids experience, but since they treat people at all life stages, they may not be as up-to-date on certain issues little ones can face. They are still incredible doctors, and can take on a lot of your child’s care, but there are certain areas where a pediatrician is probably more experienced. 

So with that said, how do you decide who to see? Well, think of it this way: minor vs major. Does your kid have a cough or sore throat? A GP is likely your best bet. But if you’re dealing with difficult behavioural issues or suspected ADHD, you’ll want to speak to a pediatrician. Similarly, if your child has any feeding difficulties, joint or growing pains, chronic conditions, or a complicated medical history, you’ll want to speak with a pediatrician.

I want to see a pediatrician. Now what?

If you’ve determined that a pediatrician is the right doctor for the job, you can book an appointment at a time that’s convenient for you and your child through your Maple account. You can set up a profile for your child, under your account, so that you can upload all of their health data. 

You’ll be taken through a simple booking process, where you’ll be prompted to choose between a 15-minute or a 30-minute session. Pricing ranges from $125-$250, but if the doctor reviews your request before your appointment and finds that they can’t actually help, they’ll let you know, turn down your appointment request, and you won’t be charged.

See a pediatrician.

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