Whether you are soon to be a parent for the first time or already have children but are changing insurance or relocating, finding the right pediatrician is an important task. The health and happiness of your kids, and your peace of mind, can certainly be affected by your choice. But, by doing your research and asking the right questions, you can ultimately be confident that you have chosen wisely.
From Credentials to Chemistry
There are many factors that make up a good patient/parent/pediatrician relationship, from the doctor’s education and experience, to their “bedside manner,” to their perspective on key medical care issues. Here are some things you can do to ensure you have found the right fit:
- Spend time online. After getting a list of pediatricians that participate in your insurance plan, go on the internet and find all the information you can about the ones who seem like they might be right for your child.
- Ask around. The information you gather in your online search is a great foundation, but ideally you can find someone you know (or even a friend of a friend) who takes their kids to that doctor and can tell you about their experience with them and their staff.
- Check the doctor’s credentials. Typically your insurance company will list them on their website. Certification by the American Board of Pediatrics or the American Board of Family Medicine is a good indicator that the doctor is well qualified. If you have questions about what is in a doctor’s bio or missing from it, don’t hesitate to ask when you talk with them.
- Visit the doctor’s office and have a conversation. It’s important that you meet each doctor you are considering face to face.
- Ask about key healthcare concerns. If things like breastfeeding, circumcision, and the use of antibiotics are areas of concern for you, be sure to ask the doctor for their opinion.
- Find out what hospital they admit patients to. It’s not always the case that the doctor near your home admits to the hospital near your home. Be sure you know where you’ll be taking your child if a hospital visit is necessary.
- Ask about appointment scheduling and access to phone-based medical advice. A practice that schedules appointments too tightly or that is so busy that nurses never have time to take a phone call is one you will find frustrating to deal with.
- Don’t discount chemistry. Parents sometimes believe that the pediatrician with the most impressive education, the best reputation or the most thriving practice must be the right one for their child. And, they try to minimize the presence or absence of a sense of “connection” with the doctor. Trust your gut. If you and/or your child don’t feel relaxed around this person, it’s best to keep looking.
An Optimistic Outlook
As a parent, having a skilled, experienced pediatrician that you and your child feel comfortable with can be a tremendous source of comfort when an emergency or illness strikes. Taking the time to make that connection in advance can truly put your mind at ease. Mountainland Pediatrics offers convenient consultation appointments for new patient families, where you can meet the providers and tour the office. Contact us at (303) 430-0823 to learn more about our practice or to schedule an appointment.