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Choosing a Pediatrician

You may be anticipating a new child's arrival.

By
Cherylyn Feierabend
Episode #006

Hey There!  You’re listening to the Mighty Mommy with some Quick and Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting. Today’s Topic: Deciding on a Doctor: Tips for Choosing a Pediatrician

You may be anticipating a new child’s arrival or you already have a child and are looking for a new pediatrician. Either way, there are many different things to consider when choosing your new doctor.
 
It always seems so much easier to just open up the book sent by your insurance company and choose the doctor closest to your house or place of business. Although you may get lucky and find a great doctor, doing a little bit of research can go a long way. The doctor-patient relationship is an important one. Here are a few tips to assist you in making the search for a pediatrician a little less daunting.

Let's start with your current doctor. If you have an established relationship with a doctor you already like, maybe you can use the same doctor for your child. Is he or she a family practitioner? If so, how often do you see children in the office during your visits? Does the office appear to be child friendly? If your doctor sees children regularly and is someone you would trust to see your child, I would recommend that you request an appointment to sit down and discuss your needs.

I personally do use my family practitioner for all members of our family. I’d been a patient of the same office for over ten years, and I had no hesitation in bringing my children there as well. I spoke with my doctor and she agreed with my decision. I have found it quite beneficial to have the same doctor as my husband and children. I like that it is an established relationship. She has our medical history and she knows all of us. Also, if one of us is suffering from some type of affliction, she will know what is going on with each of us, and she is able to keep us healthier as a group.

The main drawback to using a family practitioner as opposed to a pediatrician is the office hours. Most pediatric offices do offer extended hours, unlike a general practitioner whose office will usually close around 5:00 p.m. Many cities now have nighttime pediatric care centers. These centers can be very beneficial to those of us whose doctors are not available in the middle of the night. When interviewing your pediatrician, be sure to find out what type of on-call services are offered.

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About the Author

Cherylyn Feierabend
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