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Tips on Finding the Best Pediatrician for You

Parents will want to put the effort into finding the best pediatrician for their child because the future of their health is at stake. In the first year of your baby’s life, you will see the pediatrician at least six times. After the first year, your kid will continue to see their doctor throughout their lifetime for sick visits, vaccinations, injuries, sports physicals, and any other medical issue. 

Research shows that patients who stick with their doctors long-term end up being healthier overall. It also results in better treatment for your child. And a good pediatrician can help families over the speedbumps of parenthood. Knowing how important and how long the pediatrician-patient relationship lasts, you will want to find a professional provider that you can trust. No matter if you are looking for a pediatrician in Little Rock or a pediatrician in Fort Wayne, here are some tips to find the right doctor so you have peace of mind your child is in good hands. 

Start Early

If you are a first-time parent, you will want to start your search for the right pediatrician early on. It is suggested that a doctor checks on your baby within the first three days of his or her life, and there will not be time to find a doctor immediately after they are born. To find an office that is accepting new patients, accepts your health insurance, and offers the services you need, you will have to research multiple providers. Some estimates say it takes at least three months to find a pediatrician, so starting early is an absolute must. 

Research Reviews and Ask for Suggestions

Online reviews are a reliable starting place to check out respected providers in your neighborhood. Simply start by Googling doctors in your community, such as a pediatrician in Overland Park. You will want to make sure that a pediatric office has a steady stream of high-rated and current reviews. This shows the validity of the reviews themselves. Noting what offices are praised and which are poorly rated, you can quickly eliminate certain providers off your list. Also, never forget traditional word-of-mouth referrals. You can talk to your friends and neighbors for suggestions. You can also discuss with your family doctor or OBGYN for their insight on who is available. 

Check for Certification

Pediatricians are required to take four years of pre-med undergraduate courses, four years of medical school education, followed by a three-year pediatric residency from an accredited institution. After they have completed training, soon-to-be pediatricians must take an exam to become board certified. There are 13 other specializations that pediatricians can choose to pursue with additional years of training. So when parents are researching pediatricians, they should look for ABP (American Board of Pediatrics) certification and doctor specializations if necessary. ABP-certified doctors require additional scrutiny that goes beyond a state license. Also, if you need a specialist be sure to target your search for what you need. You can also check and see how many years a provider has been practicing if you are looking for someone with a lot of experience. Finally, you will want to verify that the doctor is up-to-date on the latest practices. While an experienced provider may be on your radar, also consider that they may still be practicing outdated care. 

Interview Potentials 

Once you know what you are looking for in a provider, you will want to set up phone calls to speak to them and address any concerns you may have. Many pediatricians offer meet-and-greets where you can decide if your medical philosophies line up, how their office is, and your general overall takeaway of the experience. Writing down a list of questions that is important to you can help you come prepared for the interview and guarantee you don’t leave without finding out all the information you need. 

See How They Act With Your Child

Setting up an appointment with one pediatrician doesn’t mean you are locked-in for life. If you set up a first-time exam, pay attention to how the doctor treats your child. Does he or she help your kid feel comfortable? Do they take their time? Does the exam feel rushed, or are they willing to talk to you about any questions you may have? You will want your child to bond with their doctor that way you will have an easier time bringing them to doctor appointments in the future. 

Remember to not feel too much pressure while looking for a pediatrician for your baby. While it is an important choice to make, you always have the freedom to go somewhere else if you think it’s necessary. However, doing your research on the backend will help make future appointments a more enjoyable experience for you and your child. 

 

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