Becoming a parent is an exciting time that comes with a whole new set of experiences and endless questions. When it comes to your baby, health should be the top priority, which is why finding the best doctor to treat your child is vital. While the process of looking for the right doctor can seem like a daunting task, here are a few things you can look for to help you make your decision.
Find a Doctor That Fits Your Situation
Before you start searching far and wide for a new doctor in pediatrics, it’s important that your physician meets certain basic criteria including their ability to take new patients at the time, acceptance of your particular health insurance plan, proximity to your home, and convenient office hours for you and your family. This checklist alone may drastically limit your options. When you have a sick child or an emergency situation, you want to make sure you are able to get to your doctor quickly and that your insurance will be accepted at their office.
Ask Family and Friends for Recommendations
Many parents find a great doctor for their child through recommendations from friends and family. This is a great place to inquire because they can give you insight into the doctor’s treatment style, true availability, and overall demeanor when interacting with patients. It’s important to feel comfortable with your child’s doctor, and if your relatives have had success with a certain physician in pediatrics, that’s a good indicator that you are likely to have a positive experience as well.
Interview Potential Doctors
Once you have a list of potential doctors that fit your criteria, don’t be afraid to ask them specific questions before making a decision. You will be entrusting your child’s health and safety to your pediatrician, so you need to make sure you have all your questions answered and that you can rely on them for quality care without hesitation. It’s best to prepare a list of questions before talking with your potential doctor to make the best use of your time. Questions can range from ‘Do you have separate waiting rooms for sick patients in your office?’ to ‘What’s your preferred method of communication with your patients?’ Getting this information in advance will save you from any unexpected surprises down the road.
Switch If You Are Not Satisfied
If you choose a doctor and then realize you’re not happy with your decision, you owe it to yourself and your child to find a situation that works best for you. Sometimes problems can be solved by simply communicating your concerns with your pediatrician, but if this is not successful, you should go back to the drawing board. The American Academy of Pediatrics is a great resource for finding referrals during your search, so take the time to do your research and find the ideal doctor for your family. Having a reliable doctor to call when your child is sick can make all the difference, so follow these steps and you’ll find yourself in good hands.