Choosing the right doctor for taking care of your 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.
Listed below are some guidelines to help you choose the right pediatrician for your child:
1. Check out the pediatrician’s experience
A pediatrician is specialized in the care of infant babies, children, and adolescents. After graduating from medical school, a pediatrician completes training in pediatrics and some even attend pediatric CME conferences to boost their knowledge.
Consider the pediatrician’s range of experience and the number of years they have been practicing. 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 they attend pediatric CME conferences. So, make sure that you choose a qualified pediatrician.
2. Check out if the pediatrician listens to you
You should be comfortable viewing your doctor as an advisor and your partner. You should also be confident that your approach to 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 the “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 kid is different. As parents know their children better than others, pediatricians should listen to them.
3. The pediatrician needs to be comfortable with your child
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 kid’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 talking 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 the 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 their office to evaluate how they work and how their office works. Check out whether the phone system works properly throughout working hours. An occasional long hold doesn’t matter much as emergencies may happen, however, two consecutive delays are not a good sign.
In the waiting room, talk with other parents and ask them the things they dislike and like about the pediatrician and their 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 to sit 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 help you during that time?
6. Check out the doctor’s credentials
Look for the designations, memberships, the pediatric CME conferences they have attended before choosing a pediatrician. Additionally, these are a few things to keep in mind:
Board certified: A pediatrician completes medicine school and a 3-year residency in pediatrics. However, a board-certified pediatrician has additionally passed several rigorous exams, which they will retake routinely.
Many MAPS pediatricians are board certified.
AAP member: When a pediatrician belongs to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it shows that they follow 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.
Choosing the right pediatrician for your kid is a crucial decision because it will impact their overall health and well-being. The above mentioned helpful tips should be considered when selecting one. Additionally, finding an expert who attends pediatric CME every now and then would be an added bonus.
You can make an informed decision by considering these tips and finding the right pediatrician who will provide excellent care and support for your child’s health and development.