Pediatric Care: How to Find a Pediatrician
Whether you are about to become a new parent or you need to switch your child to a new doctor, trying to find the right pediatrician can be overwhelming. We want the best care for our children with attention and understanding to address the concerns we have as parents, monitoring their growth throughout the years, so selecting just any pediatric office or physician isn’t ideal. When it comes to pediatric care, there are a few ways you can help find a pediatrician for your child’s healthcare.
Why Pediatric Care is Important
Pediatricians specifically care for infants and children, typically from birth through the age of 18. They help track growth and development, provide education on various health and parenting topics, administer vaccinations, detect developmental disorders or behavioral difficulties, diagnose illnesses, and prescribe medications. Children have much different health concerns than adults as their bodily systems are not yet fully formed, making specialized care all the more important.
Finding the Right Pediatrician
While all pediatricians are required to complete the American Board of Pediatrics’ requirements for board certification, it does not mean all are created equal. The best place to start is by talking with friends or family who have children where they go. When talking with them, be sure to ask important questions, such as:
- Do you feel rushed at your child’s appointments?
- Does the pediatrician address all of your questions or concerns?
- Do your children like him or her?
- How does their office handle weekend or after-hours emergencies?
- Do you feel included in the decision-making process for your child’s health?
- Are side effects or risks discussed if a medication is prescribed?
- What is your pediatrician’s stance on vaccination?
If you’ve received a few referrals for a pediatrician, it’s a good idea to take the time and talk with each to decide which will be best for your child. While you may be able to find some information through research, such as their educational background and credentials, you will also want to schedule an appointment with him or her to go over any questions you may have about their practice. Some great questions to ask include:
- In an emergency, which hospital would my child be admitted to?
- Does your office have on staff or provide referrals for lactation consultants?
- What is your stance on antibiotics use?
- If you are unavailable when I call, who would I be able to speak with?
- Is my insurance accepted or what payment arrangements does your practice offer?
- What is your stance on vaccination?
Using Other Health Providers for Pediatric Care
Ensuring your child has a pediatrician to visit in the event of a serious medical issue is important, but there are other healthcare professionals who are able to help babies and children, such as general practitioners and family physicians. However, these offices can be booked with appointments, delaying the care you need for your child.
At Midwest Express Clinic, we offer caring, attentive pediatric care without an appointment at all of our convenient area locations. We can help your child by treating everything from non-emergency injuries to common illnesses, as well as providing necessary preventive care.