The relationship that you and your child will have with the pediatrician is an important one that should last for many years. Therefore, rather than choosing the first one that you see on an online search, you should select one with much care and thought. Start by asking your family and friends for suggestions. Then, follow the next four steps to make sure that the pediatrician is the right choice for you and your child.
Select the One Who Has a Good Rapport with Your Child
Start by asking if the pediatrician whom you are interested in offers meet-and-greet sessions. This will allow you to talk to the pediatrician, ask him or her questions and see how he or she responds to your child. If your child is afraid of the pediatrician or if the pediatrician does not seem to have the right demeanor to you, it may be a sign that it is time to move on to a different doctor.
Select One with the Right Credentials
Credentials will tell you that the pediatrician has received the right education, has followed up with continuing education and is accepted by peers and by leading boards across the country. Look for the words “board certified,” which means that the doctor has passed a series of examinations. You may also want to see if the doctor is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Select One Who Accepts Your Insurance
No matter how great the pediatrician is, he or she will simply not work well for you or your family if the office does not accept your insurance. When you feel that you cannot afford to see the doctor, you will most likely keep your child home until your child is quite ill. Always ask about insurance and billing guidelines before setting up your first appointment.
Select the One with the Right Hours
If you are like many parents, you will be most attracted to a pediatrician who occasionally offers extended office hours or office hours on weekends. This is especially important if you work outside the home or if your child is in school. Evening hours are vital if you are unable to take time off work to take your child to the doctor.
Select One with Good Urgent Care Policies
Check for policies for emergencies, such as whether the doctor offers urgent care at special hours of the day. These Emergency Care Dynamics can mean the difference between an uncomfortable illness and a life-threatening one. The pediatrician may also offer emergency assistance through a local hospital or a telephone service.
Just because someone you know likes a certain pediatrician does not mean that you will like the same person. Different people click in different ways, meaning that you may be looking for something different in the doctor than your friend was. You should certainly do some research into the situation, but in the end, you must trust your gut for what is right for your child as well as your whole family.