Whether you’re expecting a new arrival or just moved to a new area, finding the right pediatrician is a must. How can you decide which practice is right for you and your family, particularly if you live in a market with a lot of children’s physicians? There are plenty of factors to think about, from the general culture of the practice to the specialties and availability of the doctors.
The parents you see in the school carpool line, at the park or playground, and even in your new neighborhood take their kids somewhere for medical treatment. Ask around and see if there is a particular doctor or team of children’s physicians that other parents trust. While these folks are not likely medical professionals, they can tell you a lot about how the office treats patients and the staff’s bedside manner. This information can help you narrow your search to a few offices.
Seek Out Specialists
If your child has been diagnosed with a condition that requires a specialist, you’ll still need your regular pediatrician to understand the condition. Kids with Autism, allergies, or asthma may see specialists for these conditions, but choosing a general pediatrician with some experience in these areas is a must. When your doctor is up to date on the latest treatments and options for this condition they’ll be able to provide the best treatment options.
Solo or Team Practice?
A practice with a sole doctor does ensure that you’ll always see your preferred provider, but you may have to wait longer for an appointment when you need one. A team practice means someone is always on hand to see a sick patient, but you may not be able to choose your preference. If you have a favorite, make sure the practice offers you the ability to specify who you see. If you choose a sole children’s physician, ask who handles urgent but not emergency calls after hours and last minute visits.
Insurance and Benefits
While your primary concern is the capability of the doctor you choose, make sure the office actually accepts the insurance offered by your employer. If you have an insurance provider who charges more to see out of network providers, make sure your choice is in your network. You should also consider which hospital your physician is affiliated with. Make sure that your doctor is associated with a reliable hospital nearby, just in case.
There are many things to consider when you shop around for the right children’s physicians for your family. Researching your options in advance allows you to make a great choice for your family based on your needs.