Top 10 Tips for Choosing a Pediatrician for Your Child

doctor with child and motherPediatricians are by far the most important people parents encounter along their child's growing curve. It is thus very important to choose a pediatrician based on facts and of course that “feel-good “instinct that all parents possess.

Here are some helpful hints to keep in mind when choosing a pediatrician:

  1. Make a list: The best way to shortlist prospective candidates is to ask around. Talk to trusted friends, co-workers, and family members with children. Ask for their recommendations based on why they chose that particular pediatrician and how long they have been visiting him or her.
  2. Research the candidates: Educational qualification, any area of specialization, and whether the pediatrician is board certified are important facts. It would be informative to check a website, such as Administrators in Medicine (a website run by administrators of several state medical license boards), to know whether any disciplinary action or charges of negligence have been filed against your chosen pediatrician.
  3. Visit the pediatrician's office: Proximity of the office to your home, office, and/or child's daycare would be helpful, especially if frequent trips are required. Adequate parking space will also help to make each visit hassle free.
  4. System of appointments: A scheduled appointment should be easily accessible via phone. Calls should be dealt with and returned promptly and courteously. We have all at some point waited endlessly at the doctor's office. With a sick child in tow, this could be difficult .Therefore, it would be vital to asses the average waiting time for appointments (scheduled) and walk-in services.
  5. After-hours availability: The pediatrician's availability on the phone (for immediate and emergency access) over weekends and at night is a must. The reassurance that help is at hand can make the most fearful situation seem manageable.
  6. Atmosphere: Children are perceptive of their surroundings. A bright, cheerful, and welcoming environment would put them at ease. Books and toys could go a long way in entertaining them during their wait. Standards of cleanliness and hygiene maintained at the office should be high. An inspection of the toilets and diaper changing facilities could give you an idea of just that. With increasing awareness of widespread diseases, it is expected that there would be a separate waiting room for sick and well children, in order to prevent the spread of any contagious disease.
  7. Child-pediatrician bonding: All efforts are in vain if your child is unable to build a rapport with his or her doctor. Your child could understandably have some reservations about a stranger, but the pediatrician's mannerisms and communication skills could make or break the relationship. The pediatrician's demeanor and body language should be pleasant and friendly.
  8. Pediatrician-parent relationship: Though the pediatrician forms a lasting bond with the child, the parent could still have reservations. As a parent, you should be able to ask your child's health care provider anything regarding your child's health, without fear.
  9. Affiliation: It is important to know, in case of emergency, which hospital your child's doctor is affiliated with.
  10. Other services: Insurance claims, availability of X-rays, and laboratory testing facilities should be available at the office. Also, ensure that if your child has special needs, your pediatrician is able to take care of them.

Comfort and trust are crucial when it comes to putting your child's life in the hands of his or her pediatrician. The pediatrician's empathy and knowledge are paramount to your peace of mind, and of course, to your child's health.

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Top 10 Tips for Choosing a Pediatrician for Your Child

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22 comments

  1. Kenzi says:

    I love my sons doctor, but hate the office staff. When I call I’m typically on hold for 5-7minutes, when I’m in the office I have to wait in line for 10-15minutes to check in. When I leave I have to wait so long to schedule his next appointment or to get the pamphlet that the dr printed for me, last time I didn’t even get it bc the lady was chitchatting on the phone while my son started to get fussy, wasn’t worth it. Just such a small town want someone close who is available.

  2. Stephanie says:

    It is very important to get like your peditrician. It makes it much more comfortable to discuss things with them

  3. Promise says:

    Still got time to think about that

  4. Samantha says:

    Make sure you look into reviews on the doctor too. I just used the one my hospital assigned and HATED the pediatrician, she was rude and seemed she didn’t want to be taking care of my son. She held his leg so hard when she gave him a shot that she bruised him! I was furious!

  5. Alanna says:

    I need to do my research.

  6. Mairin says:

    i have an idea of which pediatrician i want for the baby. Just waiting of the insurance approval

  7. Tina says:

    I feel so behind on finding a pediatrician. I’m due on the 22nd of this month and I still have no idea who to have as my son’s dr.

  8. Cassy says:

    Thanks so much for posting this, it was very helpful and informative! I just started my pediatrican search this week and feel like I’m way behind the game! I’m due on November 15th (first time mom) and I’ve felt so overwhelmed with all the other details that I haven’t even began to think about what to look for in a pediatrician!

  9. Maytte says:

    To bad we can’t have strict interview process with doctors as employers do with us.

  10. Marilyn says:

    I haven’t picked one out yet :O

  11. MamaCat says:

    Our pediatrician is amazing – and she works in the same office as my OB’s pediatrician for his younger kids. And an office visit is a great way to make sure they are right for you and your child.

  12. a5mcfarland says:

    already have my doctor

  13. verochka31 says:

    I found a great pediatrician the first time around and am happy to have him meet baby #5 soon!

  14. AmyC says:

    We know what clinic we are using but we haven’t decided on the actual dr yet. It’s nice that our clinic will let you "test run" a dr before you name them as your primary.

  15. calebsmom says:

    this helped alot a few people told me some things i should ask but i still felt overwhelmed

  16. I’m thinking about just using the same one that my daughter has for my son, just because its simple. Even though she doesn’t seem to support breastfeeding (I think it has a lot to do with money). I would like to change her pedi… I am not sure who to go to if I do.

  17. Tempestt says:

    This helps me out a LOT. I have a Texas Children’s Pediatric Associates office right around the corner from my house and they have 3 great doctors with wonderful qualifications. This helps me narrow down which would be perfect for my daughter. THANKS!

  18. Julie says:

    I am using the same office I have now, the have a pediatrician there as well.

  19. Stessa says:

    I am using my family doctor that we have had for many years…seems simpler and he already knows our background.

  20. Sasoo says:

    I’m still in the process so this is very useful information.

  21. mommakat says:

    I am in the process of narrowing down my Pediatrician canidates

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