Pediatricians manage the physical, mental and behavioral health of children. They treat patients from birth until the age of 21. Therefore, your relationship with your child’s physician may be long term. Because your relationship with your child’s physician could be long lasting, it is important for you to compile a list of characteristics or requirements to help you assess compatibility.
While there are many qualified pediatricians for you to choose from, selecting one that is compatible with your requirements can sometimes be challenging.
Here are a few helpful tips you can use to make your search for a pediatrician less complicated:
- Ask around– Friends or loved ones can be a trusted resource when looking for a pediatrician. They can refer you to a pediatrician that has provided a positive experience or to someone who has an excellent reputation.
- Find the name of qualified pediatricians- A list of qualified and board certified physicians in your area can be found on the website of The American Academy of Pediatrics. abp.org
- Consider proximity- It is highly suggested that you seek a pediatrician that is located within close proximity to your home.
- Make sure the physician is covered by your insurance- Call your insurance company to ensure that the physicians you are interested in are providers in your plan.
- Set up interviews– Call the pediatrician’s office and explain that you are interested in their services and would like to schedule a time to ask a few questions. Your talk with the doctor may be in person or over the phone. A few key questions to ask include:
- Where did the pediatrician attend medical school?
- What are their credentials?
- Which hospitals are they affiliated with?
- On average, how long does it take to get an appointment?
- On average how much time does the doctor take to see each patient?
- How are emergency situations handled?
- How can the doctor be reached after hours?
- Are sick and well patients separated?
- Go with your instincts- After your interview with the pediatrician use the information you have gathered and your parental instincts to help you to decide if they are best for you.
Once you have selected your pediatrician, remember a good doctor-parent relationship can improve the quality of healthcare your child receives. Building a good relationship with your doctor will require clear communication, mutual respect and trust.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.