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How to Choose the Right Pediatrician for Your Child

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How to Choose the Right Pediatrician for Your Child

Aug 27, 2018

As a parent, your pediatrician is one of the most important partners in raising your child. But finding the right doctor for your child can be hard. Pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner shares some helpful tips on how you can choose a doctor who will be the best fit for both you and your child.

Episode Transcript

Dr. Gellner: Parents know they want a good doctor for their child, but how should they go about actually choosing a pediatrician? I'll give you some pointers on how to find the best kid doc for your child on today's Scope.

Announcer: Keep your kids healthy and happy. You are now entering the "Healthy Kids Zone" with Dr. Cindy Gellner on The Scope.

Dr. Gellner: As a parent, we all want the best for our children, so when you go to find a new pediatrician, whether you're still expecting your first baby, have an insurance change, or move to a new city, finding someone to care for your child's health is a huge decision. Just like any other long-term relationship, you need to be comfortable with the person you are entrusting your child to. So how do you find a new pediatrician?

First, talk to your friends who have kids. I know a lot of my patients come to me and the parents say, "Oh, you see my neighbor's child," or, "You see my nieces and nephews," and they all said, "I just had to bring my kids to you."

If you are just changing insurances, ask your current pediatrician who they would recommend. Often we know the other docs in the area and who would be a good fit for your family.

Another good tip is to check out the American Academy of Pediatrics' website and use the "Find a Pediatrician" tool. It will help you find a board-certified pediatrician in your area, and then you can search that provider on various patient satisfaction websites to see what others think of that pediatrician.

Many practices actually have their own websites that answer a lot of questions for you. Often, you can look at each pediatrician's profile to see when and where they did their medical school and residency training, do they have any specific areas or interests, what are the clinic's office hours, and who takes care of any concerns when the pediatrician isn't in the office. And don't forget about looking to see what insurances the practice accepts.

Some parents choose to do a meet-and-greet appointment with a prospective pediatrician. You'd have to call to see if the provider does those types of visits and if a co-pay is required. You can then check out the office to see if the staff is comfortable with kids, is the facility kid-friendly, and does the pediatrician seem down-to-earth, easy to talk to, knowledgeable, and like they really enjoy working with the little ones.

Can your child be seen the same day for sick visits? Who covers for the pediatrician after hours? Does the pediatrician go to any hospitals? Usually, we know what information parents want when they come in for these types of visits, and so we can help you make sure you're not forgetting anything to ask.

Bottom line is you should feel absolutely comfortable with your pediatrician and feel like you can trust them to have your child's best interests at heart. If the fit doesn't feel right, move on until you find the best possible pediatrician for your family.

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