5 Steps to Finding the Right Pediatrician for your Family
Most moms begin the search for a pediatrician when they learn they’re pregnant. It can be an overwhelming process, particularly if you’re a first-time mom, or if you’re new to an area. Finding a pediatrician that best suits your family’s needs is imperative, and there are several factors that will help you make your decision. These 5 steps will make the process a little easier, and help you make the best decision for your family.
- Ask for Recommendations
The best way to learn about a pediatrician is to talk to Mom’s who see them regularly. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or a local mom raving about her pediatrician online, take the time to engage them in conversation and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Another great resource to get a recommendation is with your obstetrician or local pediatric urgent care. These doctors will know and work with local pediatricians, and they will likely be able to tell you who they prefer.
- Check Credentials
Once you’ve gotten a few recommendations, take the time to read about them online. Most pediatricians will have a website with an “About Us” section where you can learn about their education, check to see if they are board certified, and see how long they’ve been practicing.
- Look at the Technical Details
Taking the time to look at the details of a practice will definitely pay off in the long run! Make sure the physician is accepting new patients, and that the practice will accept your insurance before you get started. Check to see how close their office is to your home, and ensure that the office hours are convenient for your family. Next, look at how they handle after hours phone calls. Most offices have an after-hours answering service that will refer you to the appropriate pediatric urgent care, or ER if necessary. It’s important to learn about the little details that make their office run smoothly.
- Schedule a Meeting
After you’ve taken the time to do the research, schedule meetings with your top choices. When you’re in the waiting area, don’t be afraid to chat with the other parents. Ask them questions such as: “how long does it take to get an appointment?”, or, “does your child feel at ease with his/her doctor”? These are little things that you could only learn from current patients, so take advantage of your waiting time. Also, take note of the front office staff and the waiting area. Were they friendly? Was the waiting room clean, kid-friendly, and inviting? When you meet with the doctor, ask about issues that are important to you, such as vaccinations, breast feeding, and health concerns that are specific to your child.
- Make your Decision
Finally, choose the doctor who you feel most comfortable with. You may meet several doctors who meet all of your requirements, but there will likely be one that you felt most at ease with. This person will be someone who you will see often, and who will watch your child grow alongside you. At the end of the day, you should really like them as a person as well as trust them as your child’s physician.