The Importance of Finding the Best Pediatrician

February 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Newborn Care

A common concern for any parent is finding the most qualified pediatrician for their newborn. At various stages of the baby’s life, he or she will need to see the doctor so you want someone you trust. Obviously, finding a pediatrician is of huge importance so to make the process easier, we wanted to provide you with helpful information.

Always remember that every pediatrician is different. Each doctor has his or her own way of doing things and a unique personality. Therefore, you need to choose a doctor that you click with and someone who has the same perspective of raising newborns as you do. As a new parent, you will have many questions so you need a doctor who is patient and willing to take time to answer them. There could even be times when you need the pediatrician in the middle of the night so the doctor you choose should be open to helping no matter the time.

We suggest that you do research and find several possible doctors. It is imperative that you sit down with each prospective pediatrician and have face-to-face time, not something you want to do via email or on the phone. Typically, this type of personal meeting will make the process of choosing much easier.

Never be afraid to ask about any licenses, certifications, or other accomplishments achieved by the doctor. Each school is also different, meaning their principals and level of teaching will be different. For instance, chances are that a pediatrician who trained at Harvard or the Mayo Clinic is going to have more current and intense education and training over a doctor that received his/her degree from a school in Africa. Regardless of where the doctor went to school, we strongly recommend you only choose one that is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics in that they have high standards.

It is also important to identify the different hospitals where the pediatrician works. For instance, you might have insurance that covers one hospital more than another so as long as the hospital you want to go to is good, then try to find a doctor that has an association there. Another consideration is how far the doctor’s office is to your home. If you have frequent doctor’s visits, then it would be more convenient to find someone nearby. One of the most important questions is to find out if the doctor will come to the hospital after the baby is born so you know your child is getting care immediately after birth.

Something that many parents are unaware of is that you can have more than one pediatrician. Often, parents will have a pediatrician and a specialist, especially when there are unique health considerations. Even if you have an amazing family doctor, this should not be the baby’s doctor in that he or she will not have the level of expertise needed.

Next, if you choose a pediatrician who is in practice with several other doctors, ask about the policy of which doctor would see your baby if your own pediatrician were unavailable. Once a name or names have been identified, set up an appointment to go in and actually meet the other doctor(s). This will provide you with peace of mind that you need. Some pediatricians also have practicing nurses or RNs that have special training with newborns so this too would be valuable information to have.

Make sure you discuss important issues such as certain immunizations and vaccinations. Some doctors are pro and some con. You do not necessarily have to agree with the doctor but you should at least understand why they may or may not oppose something. Working with your new pediatrician, you will learn about schedule for shots, nutrition, diet, and so on.

If you have no idea where to start your search for a qualified pediatrician, ask your OBGYN. If you deliver early or have not yet chosen a pediatrician the obstetrician can care for your newborn during the first six weeks. If the OBGYN is unsure, then talk to the staff at the hospital for recommendations. Of course, you can always perform your own online research. Some websites that offer a wealth of information include: – The Health Pages – American Academy of Pediatrics – The Doctor Finder – American Board of Pediatrics

Not only will these organizations provide you with names, but other information relating to training, education, history as a pediatrician, insurance, and more.