Your child’s pediatrician is going to be a part of their lives for a very long time. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests your children stick with their pediatrician until they’re 21 years old. Some may even see them well into their adult years.
You will want the best care possible since your child’s doctor will be an integral part of their healthcare.
If you’re wondering, “How do I find the best pediatrician near me?” we can help. Keep reading to find our tips on choosing the best doctor for your children.
Ask Your Friends and Family
One of the best ways to find a doctor for kids is through word of mouth. Ask your friends and family members if they have any suggestions on pediatricians to consider. You should also inquire about their first-hand experiences with the doctor, what they like about them, and what they don’t like.
You might also consider asking your obstetrician while you’re pregnant for recommendations.
Do Your Own Research
Getting recommendations from friends and family shouldn’t be the only step you do on your search for a pediatrician. Since this person will be a part of your child’s life for so long, choosing one shouldn’t be a quick process.
If they have a website, peruse every corner of it to gather as much information as you can.
Do they accept your health insurance? Are they accepting new patients? Is their office near your home or across the city?
You might even consider meeting potential pediatricians before your child is even born. This will give you a chance to see them face-to-face and allow you to make your own inferences. There are many different methods of raising children and if your beliefs don’t jive with your doctor, you may butt heads down the line.
Check each potential doctor’s credentials and experience. A pediatrician is different from a primary care physician. Pediatricians take specialized training to care for children and infants.
Don’t feel that you’re stuck with the first pediatrician you choose. If you take your child to the doctor a few times and find that you’re not clicking with their physician, you can (and should) switch doctors.
Pay close attention to how the pediatrician interacts with your child during their first few visits. Most pediatric care doctors choose that profession because they’re passionate about caring for children. If you’re not getting those vibes from your pediatrician, it’s okay to shop around.
Verify Credentials and Experience
Do as much research as you can about the physician you are thinking about for your child.
A pediatrician is a general practitioner who focuses on treating children and adolescents up to the age of 18. After finishing medical school, they are trained in pediatrics. Many pediatricians receive board certification from the American Board of Pediatrics after finishing their residency.
To find a pediatrician, look for these important titles next to the person’s name.
Board Certified: A physician who has earned board certification has finished medical school and a three-year pediatric residency. A pediatrician who has earned “board certification” has furthermore aced a battery of difficult tests that he will repeatedly take.
AAP member: To ensure that a prospective physician complies with the American Academy of Pediatrics policies and standards, ask whether they are an AAP member.
FAAP listing: These four letters signify a doctor’s board certification and AAP membership.
Available and Easy to Reach
You may find that having simple and convenient contact with your child’s physician and the medical staff is crucial. You choose a medical facility with an online patient portal where you may contact your child’s physician through email, make appointments, and check the outcomes of various tests.
Moreover, see what options there are for after-hours care, especially for young children. Can you contact an on-call provider via phone or online?
A few pediatricians provide same-day appointments. It may also change things for you.
See how your doctor treats your child
Pay attention to the doctor’s interactions with your child during the first few appointments after the birth of your child.
A unique relationship will form between your physician and your infant. As your child matures and develops, you want them to feel secure in your decision.
Trust Your Gut
Finally, when selecting a pediatrician, trust your gut. If anything does not feel right, seek around until you find a physician you feel at ease with and whom you can rely on to give your child the finest treatment.
Why Pediatrician Matters
More so than most parents realize, picking the best physician is important. While you may easily switch pediatricians if you do not like the first one you visit, if your infant or older kid is really ill, the first doctor you see may be making decisions that might affect your child’s life. Or they can fail to notice an issue that could be fatal.
Thus, you should think about who will take care of him even if you have a healthy baby or an older child who merely has a cold or an ear infection, just in case his medical issues are a bit more serious than you believe.
What to Expect from Your Pediatrician
From birth to the age of 18, your child’s health may be managed by your pediatrician. Your child will visit the doctor frequently during this period to monitor their physical and mental growth.
As your kid gets older, the type of checkup will change, but they’ll get their first checkup within five days of delivery.
Your doctor could set up a follow-up visit in a month after the initial examination. Then, until your child is six months old, they will see them at least every two months.
You will visit your pediatrician after the first six months every three months until your child is 18 months old, and then every six months until they are 30 months old.
After that, your child’s physician will set up yearly wellness exams.
Your medical professional will:
- complete a physical examination
- take measurements
- assess their development
- administer shots
- talk about health and safety
- answer any questions you have
Every wellness visit comes with proactive advice. This information will help you understand your kid’s future growth milestones and how to keep your child safe and healthy in between appointments.
Can You Switch Your Pediatrician?
Pediatricians and parents do not always get along. But, unless a doctor diagnoses a patient incorrectly, think about sticking with them for a few visits before switching.
When you do “split up,” just give the office a call and ask them to transfer your records. Only carry out this action after locating a new pediatrician. If your complaint relates to anything the doctor or practice might do better, such as a congested waiting area or slow call-back times, it is beneficial to let the office know.
How to Communicate Well with your Pediatrician
You must put out an effort to build a positive connection with your pediatrician, which includes excellent communication. Before each visit, jot down your worries so you will not forget to bring up a crucial matter.
Include all of your worries while scheduling the session. Your doctor might not be well-prepared if you have three issues but only mention one while making the appointment. You might need to make a separate appointment if there is not enough time to handle your other issues.
Ensure that you comprehend any instructions you are given on the upbringing of your child. If anything is confusing to you, discuss it. Moreover, do not be scared to offer frank criticism. Have an open discussion with the doctor if you believe they rush you through your appointments or do not take your issues seriously. Your pediatrician might value the comments. But, in order to avoid putting your doctor on the defensive while providing feedback, do it gently and with respect.
Choose the Best Pediatrician for Your Family
Your child’s doctor is going to be a part of their lives for a very long time. You want to make sure you’re choosing the best pediatrician to provide care for your family members. If you use our tips above, finding a reputable doctor for kids will be a breeze.
Keep reading our blogs for more tips and tricks for Moms to make their lives a whole lot easier.