How to Choose a Perfect Pediatrician for Your Child
Choosing a family pediatrician can be a daunting task — all parents want to make sure that their children receive the best possible care! With these tips, you’re sure to find a pediatrician that fits your family’s needs.
If you are expecting a baby, ask your OB-GYN for referrals. You’ve already entrusted your child’s health to this doctor, so you can be sure he’ll recommend someone he trusts to treat your child with the same standard of care. If you are choosing a new pediatrician or have just moved to the area, it’s also a good idea to ask friends and neighbors for recommendations or visit the American Academy of Pediatrics’ referral site at aap.org/referral.
Consider the pediatric clinics in your area. Which ones are the closest to your home? Are their hours convenient? As a parent, it may be easiest for you to take your child to the doctor on weekends or after work. It’s especially helpful if a clinic is open after-hours (or you can telephone your doctor directly) in case of emergency. Keep these factors in mind while narrowing down your choices.
Meet with a pediatrician or two (or three!). With each visit, consider the compatibility of your child and the doctor. It’s important for your child to feel comfortable with his doctor to avoid “white coat syndrome” as much as possible. However, it’s not only important for your child to feel at ease with the pediatrician — ensure that you feel heard by the doctor and that he addresses all your questions and concerns before moving on to the next patient.
Remember that there are many ways to parent, and it’s okay to visit a few pediatricians before finding one that fits your personal parenting style. Seek out a doctor who is attentive, patient, and knowledgeable, and most importantly, someone you have a mutual understanding with.
If you decide to switch to a new pediatrician, simply call the office and have them transfer your records. It’s okay to say that you didn’t think your old doctor was the right fit. Follow your parental instincts and choose the pediatrician that will help your child grow up healthy!