Difference Between a Doctor’s Medical Kit and a First Aid Kit

A doctor’s medical kit and an ordinary first aid kit are bound to have certain differences with each other, which will be discussed in this article.

Is there any notable difference between the two kits?

Short Answer: Yes, there are differences worth noting down between the two kits

  • First aid kits are usually intended for very basic, treatable wounds that can be done at home
  • A Doctor’s medical kit, on the other hand is used for major, more severe injuries that only a doctor can treat
  • Both medical kits are extremely helpful and vital, despite the differences they have
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The difference between a doctor’s medical kit and a first aid kit

In comparison to a first aid kit, a medical kit might include items such as syringes, sterile gloves, and other necessary supplies to treat severe injuries or any illnesses.

A doctor’s medical kit is intended for use by trained medical personnel in more serious instances.

The medical kit doctor’s use has other important characteristics such as:

  • It is more expensive
  • It is smaller in size 
  • Medical supplies that are not found in a first aid kit 
  • Contains supplies to perform medical procedures

Let’s take a look at the points mentioned above in detail.

It is more expensive

The medical kit used by a doctor is expensive in the sense that the medical supplies will cost significantly more than a basic first aid kit.

It is important to note down that the quality of the products will be better and more effective, too.

It is smaller in size

First aid kits come in different sizes, but medical kits are a customizable size of their own.

They are smaller in size because the kit will have medical supplies that the doctor will consider a necessity, nothing more.

Medical supplies that will not be found in a first aid kit

The supplies found in a doctor’s medical kit differ from what is in a first aid kit, and will not be available in a basic first aid kit.

There will be specific pills that only a doctor will be able to prescribe to a patient.

An ordinary person will not understand how and what exactly to use because they won’t know any of the medicines or equipment in the kit.

Contains supplies to perform medical procedures

Doctor’s have extensive knowledge in treating patients, and will need a comprehensive kit that has the supplies to perform medical procedures.

Medical procedures will be performed only when the injuries are life-threatening, and waiting for emergency services to arrive.

Alternatively, a first aid kit is more for everyday situation injuries at home or where immediate medical attention is not required.

On the other hand, a first aid kit consists of supplies and equipment that are used to treat minor injuries, such as:

  • Sprains 
  • Cuts 
  • Bruises
  • Sprains 
  • There are different types of bandages in the first aid kit that are ideal for most sprains, sport related can be an example.

  • Cuts 
  • Cuts are an extremely common injury that happens to all of us - and the first aid kit saves the day with bandages that are available in different sizes.

  • Bruises
  • When a ligament has been stretched too far, a sprain occurs and it is very painful. It is most likely going to swell up, which is where bandages help a great deal.

The items in a first aid kit will contain the following medical supplies:

  • Bandages 
  • Gauze pads 
  • Antiseptic wipes 
  • Adhesive tape

When it comes to life-threatening and traumatic injuries, our Survival Trauma First Aid Kit is exactly what you need.

The following situations are when you will need the first aid kit:

  • Penetrating chest wounds 
  • Gunshot wounds 
  • Stab wounds 
  • Chainsaw injuries
  • Major lacerations
Doctors Medical Kit

What are the requirements of doctor’s medical kits and first aid kits?

Now that we’ve covered the differences between the kits, let’s move onto the contents of both the doctor’s medical kit and a first aid kit.

Considering that a doctor’s medical kit is dedicated for trained personnel use, there are specific medicines and equipments to save a life during these situations:

  • Gunshot wounds 
  • Broken legs 
  • Head-on collisions (Car accidents) 
  • Falls from a significant height

These situations are very dangerous and medical attention is a must, because if any injuries from the above scenarios are neglected, it could take a turn for the worse.

Gunshot wounds

One of the most fatal injuries a person could sustain, it will depend on the location, speed and type of bullet used.

They can not be treated with a basic first aid kit very long, and require more advanced techniques.

Broken legs

The severity of a broken leg will be difficult to understand until a proper examination of it is done by a doctor.

A temporary tourniquet will have to be applied until anything more can be done to the leg, but immediate action will have to be taken.

Head on Collision (Car accidents)

In the same boat as gunshot wounds, head on collisions are known to result in death if medical attention isn’t done quick enough.

It is also known as a full frontal collision, and during the impact of it there may be brain bleeds, bruising, and tearing of nerve fibers.

Falls from a significant height

The impact of a fall from a height is deathly as well, but low as six feet is just as fatal.

Known to be one of the leading injuries in construction, a doctor will have more knowledge on what to do.

What these situations all have in common is emergency action is a must, before any injuries escalate any further.

The medical supplies in a doctor’s medical kit could consist of:

  • Tourniquets 
  • Pressure bandages 
  • Gloves 
  • Splints 
  • Airways

Should a medic have both a doctor’s medical kit and a first aid kit?

The answer would be no, a medic does not necessarily need to have a doctor’s medical kit and a first aid kit.

However, it would be ideal for the medic to have a back-up first aid kit just in case, because there’s nothing wrong with being too prepared.

This is because the first aid kit will have more of a purpose for the medic, rather than a doctor’s medical kit would.

Can I use one instead of the other?

It’s not possible to use a doctor’s medical kit and not a first aid kit, or vice versa actually.

If you are using a first aid kit, there is no need to have a doctor’s medical kit with you, and if you already have a doctor’s medical kit it is not necessary to have a first aid kit too.

Sirvival First Aid Kit

Related Questions:

What is the difference between a first aid kit and a trauma kit?

A fully equipped first aid is all you need when it comes to treating minor injuries that include scrapes, cuts and sprains.

A trauma kit on the other hand is used for more life-threatening injuries such as stabbing, gunshot wounds and other wounds where excessive bleeding could happen.

Both kits have been designed for specific purposes in mind, and there is an evident difference between the two.

What are the types of qualifications for a first aider?

Qualifying to be a first aider is a very noble act, and is highly appreciated anywhere around the world.

There are many qualifications a person can obtain in first aid, for example - involving childcare, related to COVID-19, becoming a first aider and specific to various professions.

If you are interested in learning more about the role of a first aider, you can read our article Available Types of First Aid Qualifications.


It’s important to know the difference between a doctor’s medical kit and a first aid kit, which I have covered in this article.

This information definitely has the potential to help you or someone you know at any point in the future.


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