When you have a child or move with your child to a new location, you'll have to go about the task of finding a pediatrician. On one hand, all of the pediatricians out there have gone to medical school and earned the necessary licenses to ensure they'll take good care of your child. However, everyone is different — and some pediatricians may better serve your unique needs and your child's unique needs better than others. So, it's a good idea to visit a few different pediatrician's offices before choosing one. Here are factors to consider as you weigh your options.
Is your child comfortable in the waiting room?
Waiting rooms can be stressful places. Some kids may be more comfortable in a large waiting room with a lot of toys and distractions, while others — especially those with sensory differences — may prefer a smaller, quieter waiting room. If you bring your child with you to visit various pediatrician's offices, pay attention to how they react to the waiting room environment. If they're comfortable in the waiting room, they'll be calmer and more comfortable throughout the rest of the visit.
How long as the waiting times?
When you visit different pediatricians, ask how long the wait to get an appointment typically is. Some pediatricians' offices are able to get patients in within a day or two for sick visits, while others have a longer waiting period of several days. The latter may be okay if you live near an urgent care center where your child can get prompter treatment when needed, but if there's no urgent care in your area, make it a priority to find a pediatrician who can schedule appointments sooner.
What specialties does the pediatrician offer?
Many pediatricians have a secondary specialty in addition to pediatrics. For example, some pediatricians specialize in pediatric cardiology. Others may specialize in mental health. If your child has any chronic health conditions or your family has a history of any specific problems, then you may want to look for a pediatrician who has more than the average knowledge of these problems. For example, if your family has a history of heart problems, a pediatrician who has a cardiology background would be a wise choice.
Don't be afraid to take your time and interview a few different pediatricians before choosing one. It's really important that this doctor is a good fit for you and your child.
Reach out to a local pediatrician to learn more.