Choosing a pediatrician is a no brainer, right? Wrong. While at first thought it may make sense to simply go to the same pediatrician that your friends use, if you want a pediatrician that you’ll really like and feel that you can trust, it’s important to consider these 5 things prior to making your selection.
1. Her parenting/doctoring philosophy.
If you’re gung ho on breastfeeding and co-sleeping and tend to prefer to try natural remedies to medications first, you’ll want to find a pediatrician that supports your parenting approach. Feeling supported by your child’s pediatrician is key to developing a trusting relationship with her.
2. Her willingness to make referrals
Having a doctor that knows her limitations and is willing to send you to a specialist, without a hassle, should the need arise is important. If you’re the type of parent who values the importance of second opinions and specialists, you’ll want to be sure to choose a pediatrician who does to.
3. If she is Board Certified in pediatrics.
A pediatrician certified by the American Board of Pediatrics has made a voluntary decision to uphold a standard of excellence in professionalism, and expertise in patient care. Board Certified pediatricians have made a commitment to pediatrics and usually limit their practice to such.
4. Her view on vaccinations.
Pediatricians, as parents, can vary widely on their views of vaccinations. Some pediatricians will allow for flexibility in the vaccination schedule, while others will not. It’s important that you understand a pediatrician’s view and are comfortable with it, prior to making a commitment to her practice.
5. Her office scheduling policies.
It’s important to consider how long it will take to get an appointment when considering a pediatrician. Many pediatricians leave open slots each day to accommodate sick children and guarantee same day sick appointments. Others schedule on a first come first serve basis. Some practices rotate which doctor the child will see, while other practices will only schedule a child with her own pediatrician. Be sure to understand and are comfortable with the office scheduling policies prior to choosing a pediatrician.
While it may seem like a foreign concept, interviewing potential pediatricians can help ensure that you choose one that will support you and your parenting choices. Most pediatricians allow parents to schedule an appointment with them prior to choosing them as their child’s primary care physician, so take advantage of this opportunity and ask questions and address your concerns prior to making a selection.