One of the most important decisions parents make is to choose a pediatrician for their child. As one of the most enduring relationships in your child’s and family’s life, it is important to find a good match. Whether you are trying to decide the best fit for your soon-to-be-born baby or for your growing child, there are several considerations to take into account.
Probably the single most important factor is how comfortable you feel talking to your pediatrician. You will be seeking his or her advice about crucial aspects of childcare, whether everyday issues of behavior and development or about illness. You will often interact at times of stress, so it is important to have a high level of confidence in the advice being offered. A trusting relationship with your physician will make parenting easier to navigate.
If you are in the process of interviewing a doctor as a prospective match, identifying those issues you feel strongly about is another chief consideration. For example, topics such as immunizing, circumcision, breastfeeding, sleeping patterns/routines, diet and medication use are topics that people generally have strong opinions about. If you and your doctor generally agree on these issues, the encounters will be more productive.
A basic, but important, factor to consider is the location of the doctor’s office. While that might not seem significant, it will matter when you are trying to decide whether or not to take your child to the doctor based on the time it takes to get to and from the office. In addition, finding out about how the practice operates, e.g., hours, weekend coverage, hospital affiliation, insurance acceptance, etc. will be useful information for your decision making.
Like many other pediatricians, we offer you the opportunity of coming in for a new patient interview to help you decide if our practice is a good match for you and your family. Because we think this meet-and-greet session is important, we do not charge for the visit.
As you are zeroing in on your decision, ask yourself how satisfied you feel with what you have learned about the doctor. Listen to your gut, listen to friends who see him or her for their children and if all the information is leading you to choose that person, it is likely you will have made a great choice!