There are close to 100,000 pediatricians in the US and you are responsible for finding the perfect one for your child.
Does choosing a pediatrician seem like a daunting task? How are you going to find the best one for the way you plan to parent your child?
Your child’s first doctor could be making life-changing decisions and recommendations for your child. Keep reading to find out how to choose the best pediatrician for your child.
How to Find a Pediatrician
Pediatricians are a lifeline for new parents. So how do you find one you can trust? Let’s look at how to pick a pediatrician with whom you’ll all be happy.
Talk to neighbors, relatives, and friends and ask for recommendations regarding a pediatrician. Ask questions about why they like their pediatrician.
Their reasons for liking a certain doctor may be the opposite of what you want in a pediatrician. For example, maybe their doctor is quick to prescribe antibiotics while you may want someone who is more conservative about doling out medication.
During your pregnancy, ask your OB/GYN. He or she is a good person to ask for a recommendation. They work with several and may know of one that matches your personality.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and HealthyChildren.org has a Find a Pediatrician tool to connect you with board-certified pediatricians in your area.
There are also local or county medical societies you can check for referrals. You will be able to find out which ones are taking new patients as well.
Look at Your List of In-Network Pediatricians
You should consult your insurance plan to see which doctors are in your network. If you received some really great recommendations, you can narrow things down by checking your insurance plan.
Since you’re going to be seeing the pediatrician often over the next 18-20 years, it is sensible to choose one that is in-network.
Interview Different Pediatricians
Now that you’ve narrowed down your options, you can begin to interview pediatricians.
Some important questions to ask include:
- How long do you think babies should be breastfed?
- Philosophy on discipline? Co-sleeping? Potty-training? Antibiotics?
- When would you recommend getting a second opinion?
- How do feel about anti-vaxxers? (If you are not planning to vaccinate.)
- Ask about the general office procedures, office hours, after-hour options, etc.
- How are last-minute appointments handled in the event of illness?
- With which hospital are you affiliated? Where would my child be admitted if necessary?
Make a list of all that’s important to you before the interviews so you don’t forget anything. During the interviews, you’ll most likely get a feeling of which one is right for you.
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Making the Right Choice for Your Child
Now that you know how to choose the right pediatrician for your child, you will feel comfortable narrowing down your choices and making a decision.
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