Your child’s pediatrician is a partner in your quest to raise a healthy, happy child. However, finding a pediatrician you trust can be difficult when you move to a new community.
Taking your child to someone you trust to make wise medical decisions is essential. These tips can help you find a pediatrician that will meet your child’s needs while also meeting your criteria for an excellent medical provider.
1. Find Out Which Doctors Take Your Insurance
If you have medical insurance, one easy way to narrow the search for a physician is to find out which doctors in the area take your insurance. You can do this by calling your insurance company or the doctors in your area one at a time. Your insurance company may also provide a directory of providers in your area. Search on your insurance company’s website or call them directly.
2. Get Recommendations
Do you know anyone in your new town? If you’ve moved to an area where you already have friends or family, ask them for pediatrician recommendations. Getting recommendations is a great way to find a doctor because you can ask questions about the person providing the guidance. Ask questions such as:
- How long have you been taking your child to this doctor?
- Do they see children promptly and on schedule?
- How do they interact with your child?
- What’s your favorite thing about this particular doctor?
If you don’t know anyone in your new town, consider looking up online reviews of the doctors in your area to find out what other people in your town are saying about those doctors.
3. Stop In At the Doctor’s Office, Meet the Doctor
Once you’ve found a potential pediatrician, stop by the office. This is a chance to evaluate the lobby, parking, and people working in the reception area. Is the lobby child-friendly? Are you able to find parking? Are the people at the reception desk kind and respectful?
Ask to make an appointment to meet the doctor, either over the phone or in person. Many pediatricians will take a little time to answer parents’ questions about their practice, but schedule this ahead. This will give you time to evaluate whether this doctor is right for your child.
When you interview the doctor, ask questions such as:
- How long have you been practicing?
- What do you do to make children feel comfortable at the doctor’s office?
- Who will cover your patients when you’re gone?
- Do you offer same-day appointments or emergency appointments?
- How often do you recommend well-baby and well-child appointments?
- Do you offer advice regarding parenting strategies?
- Do you have an after-hours advice line?
5. Consider Availability
Make an appointment with the pediatrician you’re considering. If getting your first appointment is difficult, either because the pediatrician is too booked or because their receptionist is hard to reach, this could be a red flag.
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