Choosing a Pediatrician

Baby boy with mother at doctor's officeFinding a good pediatrician for your family is an important part of caring for your child. As a doctor specializing in children, they will be able to provide valuable medical opinions and care for your developing child. There are many factors that go into selecting a practice and, in today’s blog, we will be looking at three things to consider when choosing a pediatrician for your family.

Proximity

You’ve often heard it said in real estate that “location is everything” but the same holds true for your doctor’s office. Many parents tend to select an office location close to their work or child’s daycare. Since a child’s health can be unpredictable, consider the convenience of their location for both scheduled appointments and necessary unscheduled needs when choosing a pediatrician. The last thing you want is to have to drive a long way from your home when your child is sick or needs medical care.

Hours

Closely related to the office’s proximity to your home are the office’s hours of operation. Choosing a pediatrician with a wide range of hours and work days helps to ensure someone will be available when needed. It allows you to avoid visits to the emergency room for urgent but not life threatening ailments. It is also worth checking with perspective offices about how they handle out of hours requests, if they make house calls, or if any doctors make themselves available by phone outside of normal business hours.

Size of Practice

The size of a practice can have a profound impact on both the quality of care and when your child will receive it. Their are advantages and disadvantages to large and small practices but some things worth thinking about are whether or not there are specialists in the practice, what happens when your regular doctor is unavailable, how many offices are there, and whether or not the medical care providers rotate between those offices. For your family it may be very important that your doctor know your child by name and be very familiar with their history or it may be more important to be able to make same day appointments even if it is not with your regular doctor.

With these suggestions in mind, the next step in choosing a pediatrician would be to research practices in your area, asking local friends for recommendations, and begin contacting their offices to determine which doctors will best suit your family’s needs.

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