Your children will need an effective medical caregiver to provide health care through their younger years. As you explore various children’s physicians, you should consider the qualities and experience that the right doctor possesses so you can find a professional that makes doctor visits comfortable for your child.
Sources for Children’s Physicians
A variety of sources are available to help you find a qualified doctor. Speak with family and friends to get recommendations and referrals for professionals they use and trust. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers parents a tool on its website to find names of board-certified physicians practicing in a local community. Contact a local medical center or community hospital to request information about a department of pediatrics. This department should have names of physicians who are accepting new patients. Inquire within a local medical society about a referral service for professionals practicing in your city or town.
Questions to Ask
Many parents prefer to meet a doctor prior to choosing one to provide health care. You can ask some questions during this interview.
1. Find out what medical school the doctor attended. Ask about postgraduate and residency training, also.
2. Ask about hospital affiliations to find out where the doctor practices. This will tell you where your child would be admitted in the event that hospital care is necessary.
3. Explore the practice with which the physician practices. If the professional practices with others, find out whether you would always see your specific doctor or whether your child might see others.
4. Ask about standard office hours and appointment times during the evenings and weekends. Find out where your child would need to go during off hours if an appointment is necessary.
5. Notice the clinic environment and appearance to determine whether it seems clean, orderly, and well organized.
6. Check out the staff to see whether they are courteous and helpful. Patients should be prioritized when they visit the clinic.
7. Note how the doctor interacts with patients and parents. Optimally, the professional should speak to you in a polite and engaged manner, taking the time to answer questions and explain issues.
8. Observe the interactions between the physician and the staff. Everyone in the office should have positive interactions, displaying courteous and professional manners.
9. Ask whether the professional returns phone calls or whether another member of the staff fields phone calls. If possible, you should at least be able to speak with a nurse when you have questions or concerns.
10. If your child has an existing illness or condition, present the situation to the doctor. Learn the professional’s plan for managing your child’s care to determine whether it fits your wishes.
It’s essential that the professional you choose be a good fit with your parenting style. You can only learn this information by taking the time to interview children’s physicians prior to making a final decision. After taking the time to speak with a doctor, you can then move forward confidently with a final decision.
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