Sep 23, 2019

Dr. Gellner: You are in need of finding a new pediatrician whether it's because you're expecting your first child, you moved to a different city, your insurance has changed, or your previous provider has left their practice. It can be a pretty stressful situation. But I'll let you know some tips to help make this a little easier.

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Dr. Gellner: Finding the person you like and trust to help you raise your child, take care of them in sickness and in health, it can be tricky. The first thing I would say to do is to ask people around you who have children. Who did they see? Do they like their pediatrician? Do they like the staff at their pediatrician's office? Is the location close to you? Are their hours convenient?

I can't tell you how many new patients I get that come in saying, "You see my neighbor's kids or my family member's kids." It's actually quite humbling and an honor as a pediatrician to know that so many parents speak highly of me.

Next, call your insurance company. Do the pediatricians whose names keep coming up amongst your friends take your insurance? Doctor bills can be expensive, so make sure you pick a pediatrician in your network.

I then look them up online. Most practices not only have a short biography about their provider outlining what their education is. They'll also say if they're board certified. Do they have a particular area in medicine that they really like to practice? For example, my biography points out that my areas of expertise are preventive care, childhood obesity, and allergy and asthma management.

The biography also should give you a little insight into their personal life, like what do they like to do when they're not working. You might find that someone has a particular hobby that you do as well, which makes for a great icebreaker when you go in for your first appointment. Many of my new patients lately have been from Texas. And when they see I did a lot of my education in Texas, it's an instant connection. When you look them up online, also look at their reviews. What do other parents say about that provider?

Finally, when you've done all your homework and you've found someone who you think would be a good fit for your family, schedule a visit to establish care when your child is ready for a well visit or if they're sick or if they have a chronic condition that needs long-term care. Use that visit to see how this provider interacts with your child. Do they talk to your child as well as you? Is your child comfortable? Does your child leave with a smile on their face even if shots are involved in the visit? If you have a positive experience and you feel like you and your child connect well with the new pediatrician, then you know you found your match.

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