Before your child even arrives, they are so loved. You want to ensure they have the absolute best care from the moment they’re born, which is why searching for a good pediatrician is crucial. When you’re shopping around for your child’s pediatrician, make sure to take a few factors into consideration. That’s how you’ll find the best doctor for your child.
1. First Checkup
While not a make-or-break situation, you may want to have your pediatrician first visit your child in the hospital shortly after birth. Sometimes, it may depend on the hospital whether pediatricians are allowed back. If you can’t meet your pediatrician at the very beginning of your baby’s life, consider following the trend of having your baby’s first checkup at around five days old, shortly after they leave the hospital.
2. Insurance Constraints
You may have an excellent pediatrician in mind, but if you’re using insurance, you must ensure that they’re within your network. Nothing could be more disappointing than working with someone spectacular, only to find out that none of the costs will be covered. Make sure to check with your insurance to see which doctors and facilities are covered before you start shopping around for the best pediatrician for your kid.
3. Their Passion
Why does your pediatrician do what they do? What encouraged them to go with pediatrics? You don’t have to feel like you’re interviewing the potential pediatrician, just making sure they’re a good fit for your little bundle of joy. You’ll get to know them by learning about their drive, which will tell you a little about them as a person.
You should also consider the location of the doctor’s office relative to your workplace, home or your child’s day-care. The closer it is to one of the major hubs in your life, the better. Another great option is if the doctor’s office can be reached via public transportation. That way, you can reduce your carbon footprint while ensuring that you have a reliable ride to the pediatrician.
As your child gets older, you may have the option of making telehealth appointments. While not exactly the same as in-person visits, they can still cover various concerns. If your pediatrician offers it, it may be easier to have telehealth visits in some circumstances when your child is older.
The number of telehealth visits in one state alone skyrocketed to 20,000 in just April 2020. It isn’t hard to do check-ups over a video call, and you may find it handier to have a sick check-up over telehealth so you don’t risk infecting anyone else in the office. It’s always an option for an alternative form of a pediatric visit, so if it’s something you’re interested in, be sure to talk it through with your pediatrician.
Do you like the way the office is laid out? How friendly is the environment? Make a list of what you want to prioritize in a doctor’s office. Would you feel more comfortable if the waiting room had toys for your child to play with, or would you feel better if you didn’t risk exposing your child to germs from other kids?
Scope out the inside of the pediatrician’s office. If it’s somewhere you can picture your child going, you know that you’ve found a place. You can tell a lot about an office by the way the waiting room looks.
6. Extra Services
How do they go about providing extra services to you and your child? One thing you might consider is saving and banking your child’s stem cells for any potential issues that arise down the line. Knowing whether your pediatrician can help you find a cord blood bank is an important consideration, alongside any other extra services you may want to take advantage of.
7. Reviews and Recommendations
Reading reviews and hearing testimonies about certain doctors can help you know whether you’re making the right choice. Word-of-mouth is one of the most popular types of reviews and can sway people’s opinions on a certain thing, place or person.
Ask around to all of your friends and family members in the area who have children. They may be able to recommend an excellent pediatrician to you, and because they will have had firsthand experience, you may trust their words over testimonies you find online.
8. Doctor’s Personality
At a core level, you and your child’s pediatrician should get along. You don’t have to be their best friend, but friendly conversation and strained interactions can make all the difference when dealing with an already-tense atmosphere like a doctor’s office. If you can, see how the pediatricians act with other kids. If your pediatrician has an agreeable personality, you’ll know that you can get along with them well — and so can your child, once they’re old enough to interact with their doctor.
9. Experience Level
Some people might have a preference for how long their doctor has been practicing. People seem to be more satisfied with their experience if they know a bit more about their doctor. If years of practice factor into how you perceive a physician, you want to find a pediatrician with more experience. If experience doesn’t matter so much to you, you may forego years of experience for something else that matters more to you.
10. Opinion Alignment
You want your pediatrician to suggest what’s best for you and your child, but you may also have some opinions that you want your pediatrician to agree with you on. Important topics involving breastfeeding, co-sleeping or circumcision are just a few of the things you should consider when finding a pediatrician for your child. Make sure your opinions match up on the super important things, and you’ll likely have more overall satisfaction.
Find the Pediatrician That Works Best for You
You want your child to have the absolute best care, so you should stop at nothing less than finding a pediatrician that checks all the requirements you have. You may not find the best pediatrician for you right away, and that’s okay. In time, the right one will come along, and they’ll fit most, if not all, of your preferences for the best doctor.