Choosing the right doctor for taking care of your newborn baby, is one of the most important decisions you would take. The pediatrician you select would get well-acquainted with your family. In the first year of your baby alone, you would visit the doctor six times at the minimum for well-baby checkups. You may also need to do unplanned visits for a first cold or fever. So, you would want to be comfortable with the pediatrician you choose.
1. Check out the pediatrician’s experience
A pediatrician is specialized in the care of infant babies, children and adolescents. After doing graduation from a medical school, a pediatrician completes training in pediatrics.
Consider the pediatrician’s range of experience and the number of years she has been practising. Check out whether the pediatrician has worked in a private practice setting only, or she has some experience in group practice, hospitals, urgent care or emergency departments. The knowledge of a pediatrician is broadened when she works in diverse health care environments.
The doctors at the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS) are highly experienced, and many of MAPS pediatricians work in different healthcare environments.
2. Check out if the pediatrician listens to you
Your should be comfortable viewing your doctor as an advisor and your partner. You should also be confident that your approach of caring for your baby is given consideration. Parents should be able to trust their doctor, and feel that the pediatrician would consider the way they wish to take care of their child.
For example, many different approaches are there to help a baby fall asleep as well as stay asleep throughout the night, from the “no-tears” approach to “cry-it-out” approach. In case, you don’t prefer the approach of “cry-it-out” for your baby, you should be able to talk honestly to your doctor about it and look for another method.
There are various parenting approaches. Every baby is different. As parents know their babies better than others, pediatricians should listen to them.
3. The pediatrician needs to be comfortable with your baby
Most pediatricians choose this specialty as they love being with children. In your first few meetings with the pediatrician, assess how the pediatrician interacts with your baby to make sure that it would be a good fit. A special bond would be developed between your newborn baby and the pediatrician, and you would want your child to be comfortable with the doctor as he or she grows up.
4. There should be an open communication
Ensure that you can talk to the pediatrician about any concern throughout every phase of your baby’s growth. As your kid develops and grows, there may be many questions that you may want to discuss with your doctor, ranging from minor ones to major ones.
If you are concerned about something, even something that seems to be small, like your kid not wanting to eat a favorite food, you should feel comfortable to talk about it to your pediatrician. In case, you feel your kid may be showing autism signs or speech delays, speaking about them candidly with your doctor would help you calm your fears and receive a specialist help your kid may need. As your kid reaches middle school and the high school years, depression and anxiety may be some concerns to take care of.
5. Observe the pediatrician in action
Before choosing the pediatrician, visit her office to evaluate how she works and how her office works. Check out whether the phone system works properly throughout the working hours. An occasional long hold doesn’t matter much as emergencies may happen, however, two consecutive delays is not a good sign.
In waiting room, talk with other parents and ask them the things they dislike and like about the pediatrician and her practice. Check out the doctor’s office too. Do you find TV, toys, or books to distract kids? You may need to wait during the busy days. Would you like sitting there?
After choosing a pediatrician, the real test is how she works in real situations. Suppose your child falls ill during a holiday weekend. Does the pediatrician provides you help during that time?
6. Check out the doctor’s credentials
Look for the following designations attached to the name of the pediatrician.
Board certified: A pediatrician completes medicine school and 3-year residency on pediatrics. However, a board-certified pediatrician has additionally passed several rigorous exams, which she will retake routinely.
Many of MAPS pediatricians are board certified.
AAP member: When a pediatrician belongs to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it shows that she follows the standards and guidelines of the organization.
FAAP listing: This means that the doctor is board certified as well as belongs to AAP.
Although there’s a lot to consider when choosing a pediatrician for your little one, these are some helpful tips to guide you in your search. Research well about the pediatrician you are thinking about choosing. Another good idea would be to talk to other parents who have chosen the pediatrician for their children, and ask for their feedback about the doctor.