Pediatrician: Choosing the Right Pediatrician
Pediatricians care for children from newborn to adulthood, providing well baby and child care, including immunizations. Pediatricians can also help parents with issues such as growth and development, feeding, and discipline.
You know eventually your baby will have to visit one for a check-up. And when you do need to visit one, I'm sure you will be thinking quality of care. To find the right doctor for your child, luckily there are easy guidelines for you to follow.
No one size glove fits all. There is a significant diversity in individuality even amongst extremely competent physicians.
Choosing the right one that fits your personality is very important for these reasons:
1. If you have questions, you don't want a doctor that will rush you, or make you feel stupid, you want someone; who's patient.
2. Can you call them at strange hours?
3. Are they willing or unwilling to provide care?
4. Will they return your calls right away, or hours later?
You'll want to discuss some basics in a face-to-face interview, after you've narrowed the field of applicants. Simple screening could be done by way of phone or email, but you'll want to meet at least the three final individuals on your list. In the past some have found the right person the first time out, but luck had a lot to do with it.
Of course you'll look at their certificates and degrees. Not all school of medicine or residency programs are design the same. Experience does matter, It does make a difference whether a physician did field work in Africa or trained at the Mayo Clinic. You can fine strength in both. Ask whether their board certified in pediatrics.
This is standard, but not universal, are they a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics?
What hospitals are they associated with; this is a question you should ask. This could be a deciding factor, If the choice comes down to a close call between two physicians. Each Hospital has different insurance policies and regulations. Will the physician you choose follow up with your newborn whilst he or she is still at the hospital after delivery?
The answer to these questions will indicate the level of care you can expect for your infant, and help you decide.
Your infant may be referred at times to a specialist, and in fact you're not limited to one pediatrician. But your primary care physician will (and should) usually be one person, who sees your baby consistently because they will be able to continue a continuity of care based on what they know about the child history. He or she will become familiar with your baby and that's a good thing.
Try to meet that person who will cover for your child's primary physician in his or her absence, in a group practice. When they do refer your infant to a specialist; who will it be?
Try to meet with that physician as well, and all support staff. Is there a registered nurse in the clinic who specializes in pediatrics?
Lastly, you want to question the physician on issues such has immunization.
1. What are their feelings on vaccinations, positive or negative?
2. What's their immunization schedule? A good recommendation source is your obstetrician, also another good resource are friends and family. Some obstetrician do double-duty, of course.
An additional reference source is your local hospital. Also you can try a few good online websites that may list pediatricians in your area, if you've exhausted those obvious choices here's some online references you can check out:
• The Health Pages: www.thehealthpages.com
• American Board of Pediatrics: www.abp.org
• The Doctor Finder: www.docfinderplus.com
• American Academy of Pediatrics: www.aap.org
You'll discover information about the pediatrician's specializations, training, insurance plans accepted, and more.
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