Family practice or obgyn? Naval hospital? — The Bump
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Family practice or obgyn? Naval hospital?

I was just confirmed pregnant with baby #1 today and they asked me questions that I had no idea about concerning who I will go to for my first appointment. She quickly tried to explain but I am confused on the differences. I can either go to family care practice or an ob. Im pretty sure with fp I will see one dr but with an ob I might have a couple? And there was something about a centering group that I didn't understand. I am overwhelmed anybody know and care to explain??
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Re: Family practice or obgyn? Naval hospital?

  • I, personally, would never choose a FP over an OB. A family doctor has a broad skill set while an OB is a specialty for pregnancy. An OB generally has much more experience and expertise with regards to pregnancy. It seems like a no brainer to me.
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  • Congratulations on your pregnancy!  Best wishes for a healthy and easy one!

    My experience is that I was only given a list of OB practices in the area that accept tricare.  We are stationed at a small naval base whose clinic does not have obstetrics, so I am unfamiliar with a centering group or your other options.

    However, my experience with the practice has been great.  There are about 6 doctors in my practice, and I see a different doctor at each visit so that when it comes time for delivery, I will be familiar with whoever is on call.  Of course I have my favorites, but I am very comfortable with the doctors and nurses and feel like I am getting the best pre-natal care.  I could have chosen other practices that have one or two doctors, but I felt more comfortable with a larger practice.

    If you go for a private practice, make sure you obtain a letter from the clinic on base that will be sent to tri-care, asking for authorization for pre-natal care.  Then tri-care will contact you within a few days with an authorization number that you will need to give to the OB practice.

    Make sure to reach out to other moms from your naval base and get their recommendations and to hear their experiences.  One of my childhood friends works in labor and delivery in Bremerton, WA, and she seems to love everything about the hospital and what she does!

    Good luck on making your decision!!

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  • IlumineIlumine
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    Basically, the Maternity clinic uses a group of providers (Dr, NP, PA, RNs, etc) and you are more than likely NOT going to be able to see the same provider at each visit. 

    Many people complain about this, because how can someone really know how you are progressing if they only know what is on the chart? 

    SO, they give you the opportuntiy to remain iwht your PCM throughout your pregnancy (but still have to use the OB for labor/delivery) for that one-on-one tracking.

    This is TOTALLY up to you. 

    Now, you CAN also disenroll in Prime and use Standard (no cost other than reaching your yearly deductible - and if you go past Oct you get that deductible again) and see a civilian provider. 

    HOWEVER, if you are on Standard and you need to be seen for ANYTHING other than the pregnancy, you will have to pay your cost share for the visit, up to $1000.  EVEN IF you are seen by the OB, if its not a pregnancy visit, you will be charged.

    Again, this is your decision.

    I disenrolled from Prime because I would have ahd to drive PAST the Civilian Hospital and go an extra 10 miles (during rush hour traffic it could be an hour with an accident) onto the base.  I was also working and the MTF was notoriously slow - I wanted to keep as much of my medical leave for the actual birth. 

    It worked for US.  But I know many of my friends who lived up north who LOVED the Birthing Center on base.  So again, its a personal decision.

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  • I am currently being seen on base. Yes you could be bounced around to different doctors but I have been lucky enough that I have seen the same doc for 75% of my pregnancy so she know my pregnancy history well. It just really depends on how big of a hospital you have on base and how busy the obgyn office is. Our hospital is small but the birth rate is low so the obgyn schedules are more open.
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  • image Ilumine:

    Basically, the Maternity clinic uses a group of providers (Dr, NP, PA, RNs, etc) and you are more than likely NOT going to be able to see the same provider at each visit. 

    Many people complain about this, because how can someone really know how you are progressing if they only know what is on the chart? 

    SO, they give you the opportuntiy to remain iwht your PCM throughout your pregnancy (but still have to use the OB for labor/delivery) for that one-on-one tracking.

    This is TOTALLY up to you. 

    Now, you CAN also disenroll in Prime and use Standard (no cost other than reaching your yearly deductible - and if you go past Oct you get that deductible again) and see a civilian provider. 

    HOWEVER, if you are on Standard and you need to be seen for ANYTHING other than the pregnancy, you will have to pay your cost share for the visit, up to $1000.  EVEN IF you are seen by the OB, if its not a pregnancy visit, you will be charged.

    Again, this is your decision.

    I disenrolled from Prime because I would have ahd to drive PAST the Civilian Hospital and go an extra 10 miles (during rush hour traffic it could be an hour with an accident) onto the base.  I was also working and the MTF was notoriously slow - I wanted to keep as much of my medical leave for the actual birth. 

    It worked for US.  But I know many of my friends who lived up north who LOVED the Birthing Center on base.  So again, its a personal decision.

    thank you so much this really helped 

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  • Also, Centering Pregnancy is a type of prenatal care. Essentially, you will have your appointments with a group of 8-10 other women with 1-2 OBs, nurses or midwives. This replaces your individual appointment, but they still do individuals if you need them.  About half of the women at my base participate, and they really encourage it. I'm planning on doing it. It starts with your 16-20 week appointment. 

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  • I would stick with OB since they are specialists in pregnancy and women's health as opposed to family medicine where they do primary care for all age groups and have a much broader focus.

     I am being followed at a big Navy hospital and I have seen the same doctor every time. I just make sure to schedule all my follow ups in her schedule in advance.  Odds are she won't be the doctor on call at my delivery but that's likely in most group practices in the civilian world too.

    There are pros and cons to military vs. civilian healthcare. It depends on your personal preference and of course, what the options are where you are stationed.  My experience has been excellent so far.

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  • They didn't give me a choice...but I'm active duty and thats no surprise.  I ended up in family practice and I really like my doctor.  She said she would be the one delivering the baby and all my appointments would be with her.  I have a friend thats in the OB and they have "teams" so she sees a different doctor almost every time!! I didnt' like the thought of that. 
  • FP doctors deliver babies all the time. Seriously. They get plenty of OB experience. You would get to see the same FP doctor the whole time and it's very likely they will deliver you too unless they are physically out of town. I like it because after the baby is born, they can see the FP doctor too and if you have a question about you while you're there, you save time. It's nice to know your doctor. 
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  • image SarahS1212:

    Also, Centering Pregnancy is a type of prenatal care. Essentially, you will have your appointments with a group of 8-10 other women with 1-2 OBs, nurses or midwives. This replaces your individual appointment, but they still do individuals if you need them.  About half of the women at my base participate, and they really encourage it. I'm planning on doing it. It starts with your 16-20 week appointment. 

    thank you! glad i know because that doesn't sound like fun at all. they were really trying to make me choose that but thats definitely not for me
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