Essential Steps when Finding a Pediatrician
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There is no more precious a day for parents than the day of your child's birth. On day two, however, you start to realize all of the questions you need answered and problems you need solved. One of the most pressing needs to be met is finding a pediatrician for your newborn. The pediatrician you choose will be a large part of your new family for many years to come, so it is vital that you do your homework and ultimately be comfortable in your choice.
In the first year of your new baby's life alone, you will be making upwards of six visits to the pediatrician for basic checkups. Plus, you’ll be there for any unexpected visits for their first cold or fever.
With that in mind, here are five great tips to help you find the pediatrician that is right for your baby and you.
You cannot do enough research
A great way to start this process is by asking fellow parents about the doctor they use. Or, if you prefer, you can try an online service to find a pediatrician. Just remember when looking, that while it is essential to find a doctor that has the credentials and reviews that pass your test, it is also important to take into account their location, their hours (including after-hour care), and whether they accept your current insurance.
Examine their experience and their credentials
Pediatricians are doctors that specialize in the care of children from birth to young adulthood. When looking for a pediatrician, it is advisable to find one that has been trained at a reputable University.
Also, it is essential to find out how long this doctor has been practicing medicine and even the range of practice they have provided. Has their entire history been in an office setting or have they also worked in environments like hospitals and urgent cares? Are they currently operating in multiple environments? It is not at all uncommon for a pediatrician to have regular office hours and also do rounds in a hospital environment for newborns.
Make sure they are up to speed on the latest methods and practices
There may be no field that changes more rapidly than medicine. When entrusting the health and well being of your newborn to a physician, it is crucial that they are staying current with all of the latest knowledge and practices in the medical field. You will most likely be searching high and low on the internet for tips, tricks, and advice about how to care for your newborn, so make sure that your pediatrician is someone who has the experience and current understanding of best practices to be able to give you sound advice for the wealth of questions you will most certainly have.
There is no "one-size-fits-all" when it comes to your pediatrician
Even when you think you have found a doctor that is current in their practices and has a thorough and comprehensive background of training and experience, there is a chance you may just not get along with that person. Maybe you feel a crying baby should always be picked up and your potential pediatrician thinks they should sometimes just "cry it out." There is more to this decision than just a résumé, so make sure this is someone you feel entirely comfortable with.
What does your newborn think?
If you find someone that you think is a good fit but every time you go for a visit your baby does not seem to "click" with his/her new doctor, take note of that. If this is something that continues, this may be a sign that it is time to reassess your choice. This may not be anyone's fault necessarily, but it is essential that your doctor has a great relationship with both you AND your baby. Remember, this is someone your child will be seeing for the next several years so be sure that you feel comfortable with that relationship moving forward.