Finding the right pediatrician for your newborn may be a difficult job, especially if you are a parent for the first time. There are a number of things you need to take into account to find the pediatrician who is most suitable for your child. Well, if you are thinking how to start, here are some tips that would help you choose a good pediatrician for your little one.
1. Research pediatricians
Collect a minimum of three to four names of pediatricians, if not more from your coworkers and friends. If you don’t get enough names, you can check out the
referral site of American Academy of Pediatrics at aap.org/referral. Make a call to your insurance company if you are interested in any doctor, but don’t find his/her name on the list.
Then, find out the office location of the pediatrician. A short distance between your home and the pediatrician’s office is preferred.
2. Check out the credentials of a pediatrician
The best time for starting with your pediatrician search is during the last few weeks prior to your expected due date, as per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Families likely to change insurance or move should consider finding a pediatrician well before the newborn becomes sick or needs a checkup.
Getting positive referrals about doctors from friends and family helps to find a good doctor. If you don’t get any such referrals, seek suggestions from your primary care doctor or ob-gyn.
Check out the credentials of a doctor, which are featured on the office wall of a practitioner usually. Proper training in pediatrics comprises medical school and a minimum of 3 years of residency in family medicine or pediatrics. Following that, several doctors attend a test given by American Board of Family Medicine or American Board of Pediatrics. If they qualify, they become board certified. Most insurance company websites display the credentials of doctors in their plan. Although a doctor is likely to be good even without this certification, however, having this indicates a certain degree of knowledge. Similarly, when a doctor is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice (FAAFP) or AAP, it indicates that the doctor is likely to be updated about medical issues.
3. Meet pediatricians face-to-face
It is recommended that parents should meet with practitioners face-to-face. Before interview with a pediatrician, parents should create a list of queries and questions. These questions may be like:
- What’s your background as a pediatrician?
- Do you have any specific field of pediatric interest or sub specialty? If yes, what is it?
- How can I reach you during any emergency or after hours?
- To which hospital do you admit your patients?
- What is the best time for calling you if I have any minor question?
- In case I can’t talk to you, who will help me or handle my queries?
- Would you like to know anything about my family?
4. Assess your confidence in the pediatrician
A pediatrician and a parent share a critical bond. Even if a pediatrician is well-qualified, if parents don’t have confidence in him/her, the child’s welfare may get affected, according to experts. It’s okay for parents to seek pediatricians matching their styles. Everyone has his/her own personality.
Although a lot more needs to be considered when choosing a pediatrician for your child, however, these tips would simplify your search for the right pediatrician.