How to Choose a Pediatrician

Is your child's current physician a trusted member of your parenting team? If not, find a pediatrician whom you can trust and rely on for superior medical care. A pediatrician will work with your family until your child is at least 13 years old, and often until he or she graduates from high school. So, building a strong relationship now gives you peace of mind as your child grows. Are you ready to tackle this daunting task? Then, use five helpful tips.

  1. Check the American Academy of Pediatrics

    On the website, you'll find contact information for board-certified pediatricians. Search that database for a pediatrician near you.

  2. Contact Your Local Hospital

    Most hospitals have a pediatric department. Contact them and ask for a list of qualified pediatricians in your area.

  3. Talk to Friends and Neighbors

    Your social circle offers you perhaps the most reliable resource for finding pediatricians in your hometown. These moms and dads have experience with local doctors and their office staff, so ask around and gather information as you choose the right pediatrician for your needs.

  4. Ask Your Health Insurance Provider

    Once you find a qualified pediatrician, check with your insurance provider. Make sure the physician you like is in-network.

  5. Schedule a Consultation

    Before you transfer your child's records to a new pediatrician, sit down with the doctor for an in person or phone chat. Find out about his or her:

    • Training and background
    • Experience with your child's specific medical challenges
    • General office procedures and hours
    • Availability of short-notice appointments
    • Substitute physician's availability during vacations
    • Ability to return phone calls in a timely manner
    • Hospital affiliation
    • Friendliness, compassion and patience
    • Clear communication in everyday jargon
    • Ability to answer all questions
    • Fees for routine exams, sick visits and immunizations

After you interview local pediatricians, you're ready to make a decision that fits your child's needs and your family's preferences.

For additional information on choosing a doctor and maintaining good health, contact your insurance agent. He or she will assist you in choosing the best possible pediatrician for your family.

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