Pediatricians have specialized education and training, enabling them to provide health care for children of all ages. Some physicians specialize in infants or adolescents. To practice this type of medicine, the professional will need to maintain certification by the American Board of Pediatrics. Learn effective tips for choosing the best practitioner.
Ask around among your family, friends, and coworkers to get information from people who love their pediatricians. Get professional referrals from other physicians or health care practitioners. Ask pertinent questions about qualities of the professional so you can assess the style and manner. Mannerisms and style that one person prefers might not match your preferences. Look for pediatricians with offices located a convenient distance from your home or work. Office hours are another important consideration. Some practices keep evening hours or are open on Saturdays to accommodate families that work during the day on weekdays.
Once you have a few names, check credentials to learn about education, medical schools, and training. After a physician completes all education and training requirements, testing is required to pass the American Board of Family Medicine or the American Board of Pediatrics. With passing, a physician becomes certified in the applicable board. The practitioner who has passed one of these two boards has demonstrated a thorough knowledge of pediatrics and family medicine.
Schedule an Appointment
Meeting pediatricians personally is an excellent way to assess personality and professional mannerisms. Schedule an appointment to speak with any practitioner you are considering. As you wait in the waiting room, take in your surroundings. Note the comfort and cleanliness of the office and waiting room. Notice interactions between staff members and how they interact with you. During your conversation with the physician, ask about education, background, areas of specialty and interest, hospital(s) with practicing privileges, well-child and sick-child visits, and how the office handles emergencies. Find out how the staff manages patient calls with questions to gauge the accessibility of the doctor. Consider the age of the practitioner, if you wish to hire a doctor who will be practicing for the length of your children’s childhoods.
During your meeting with the physician, you probably experienced reactions and feelings. Pay attention to these responses to determine your overall assessment of the professional. For example, it’s possible to have a fully qualified and impressive doctor who would meet every professional requirement for a pediatrician. If you and the physician are not personally compatible, however, this would not be a good match for you and your family. On the other hand, perhaps you felt very comfortable and at ease with the professional. If your interactions were relaxed and you had a positive connection, this doctor might be someone that you would like to use for your children’s health care.
With time and effort, you can assess various pediatricians to find the practitioner that fits your needs and family’s style. The care you take with this decision will help ensure high-quality medical care.