As your child grows and develops, your child’s pediatrician will be an invaluable resource for both the information and tools you need to keep your child healthy. Throughout his or her childhood, your son or daughter will make frequent visits to the pediatrician—for planned physicals and well visits as well as impromptu visits due to illnesses.
Until your child is eighteen years old, his or her pediatrician will be at the forefront of his or her health and wellness. For this reason, it is important to find a pediatrician that will be a good fit for the needs of you and your family.
Choosing a pediatrician for your family is an important decision, and one that can be done before your child is born. While many people will research pediatricians in their area or ask friends and family members for referrals, we also recommend considering the following questions before selecting a pediatrician:
- How many years of experience/education does this pediatrician have?
- What are his or her office hours and location?
- Are there weekend or walk-in hours available for when my child gets sick?
- Is the pediatrician’s office using an electronic medical records system to facilitate better communication and care?
- What are his or her beliefs on vaccines, breastfeeding, medication use (herbal supplements), child care, etc.? Do they match mine?
- Is the pediatrician fluent in my language?
- What subspecialties does he or she have experience with?
- How available will he or she be to answer questions by phone? By email?
- Do I find him or her easy to talk to? Am I comfortable asking questions?
- How much time will I get with the pediatrician during appointments?
- Who will be there for questions/appointments if my child’s pediatrician is unavailable?
- Will the office accept my insurance?