What to Look For in a Pediatrician
Whether you’re welcoming your first child into the world or somewhere new, the process of finding the right pediatrician for your child can be stressful and time consuming. There are a few simple guidelines you can follow to help ease your worries and give you peace-of-mind.
If you’re expecting your first child, it’s best to go on the search for a pediatrician as early as your second trimester. When doing this, it would be to your advantage to ask around. Your ob-gyn, coworkers, friends and family are all great resources. Parents.com recommends taking factors like location, if there’s an emergency contact line and back-up doctors into consideration.
You’ve narrowed it down to a few candidates. Now is the time to ask questions. This is likely the doctor your child will see through their adolescence. Get a feel for how your personalities compare and if you feel comfortable asking the physician anything and everything.
Keep a list of questions ready to get the information that will help you decide on which pediatrician is right for you.
Sample Questions to Ask Your Pediatrician:
- What is your medical experience/educational background?
- Do you take my insurance?
- How can we reach you in case of emergency?
- What do you like best about being a doctor?
- What are your views on antibiotics/immunizations?
- What proactive steps would you recommend to keep a child healthy?
Hours and what insurance the pediatrician takes are two standard, yet important items that should inform your final decision. Will hours be convenient for both parents’ work schedules? How about walk-in hours? Emergency hours?
Taking costs into consideration, what insurance does the provider take? Pediatricians’ offices will usually have a sheet that names the plans they accept.
Some pediatricians may object to certain practices that you consider essential. If this is the case, use discretion, look at the long-term consequences and once again ask questions. Have a discussion about your personal outlook on your child’s health and see if it is in line with what the physician has to say.
Do a Performance Check
Even after you’ve selected your child’s doctor, it’s important to see them in their environment. Did they live up to your expectations? Did you have an emergency? If so, assess how the doctor took care of it. Make sure your doctor is giving your child the care they need from their very first appointment, onwards.