As parents, we only want to have the best doctor for our kids. In choosing the best health care provider for our babies, there are a few important factors to keep in mind. Generally, we need to remember that babies, toddlers and even adolescents have specific behavioral and health needs and if you’re looking for one who has the most comprehensive training to respond to these needs, a pediatrician will have to be the best choice. In this article, we will share with you tips on how to choose a pediatrician, when to choose pediatrician and the many factors to keep in mind in order to find the best doctor.
Who are pediatricians? How are pediatricians trained? Pediatricians are medical providers who have completed a degree in college followed by four years in medical school and another three years of residency training. It is during residency training when pediatricians are fully trained to meet the needs of children in areas like nutrition, behavior, development and normal growth. Pediatricians are also trained to recognize and at the same time treat both common and unusual illnesses that children may experience.
When to choose pediatrician? Most parents do not know when the perfect time to choose a pediatrician is. Ideally, parents should be able to choose a doctor months before the baby is due. This helps ensure that someone will be constantly available to check on the baby’s health as soon as she is born.
How to choose a pediatrician? Many parents ask this question. How exactly do we choose the best doctor in our area. Before settling with one, it is very important that we meet with several pediatricians before finally choosing one. Give yourself enough time. First, compile a list of candidates to visit. There are many ways to get their names.
– Referrals – Ask some trusted people – neighbors, friends, family, co-workers.
– Check with your insurance plan for a list of eligible pediatricians. Most plans have practice sites online which has a complete list of pediatrician directory.
– You may also ask your obstetrician for referrals.
After making your list, it’s time to set up an interview. Most pediatricians are willing to offer free interviews. Some; however, charge a minimal amount for this visits. Be sure to call the clinic before paying a visit. Pediatric clinics who do not offer preliminary interviews should be scrapped out of your options. The screening process starts with a simple phone call. Consider the following questions:
– What are the office hours? Are they open on holidays, weekend or during after-work hours? This is important especially for working parents.
– Is the pediatrician covered by your insurance? If not, are you willing to spend additional expenses?
– Do they offer laboratory facilities in their clinic? If not, where will your baby be sent for these type of services?
On your first call, observe how easy it is to get through on the phone.
Pediatricians do not only keep our babies in good health. More than just that, they keep us – the parents – at peace all the time. Choose only the best doctor for your babies!