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As a mom, I know how stressful first time parenting can be, so here’s an article to help you in finding the right pediatrician!
If you’re a first time parent, having a baby is probably one of the most exciting moments in your life. Perhaps nothing is more rewarding than giving your little angel the utmost care and attention.
For new parents, however, parenting can be particularly challenging at the same time.
So you’re not alone in your need to ask for the assistance of a pediatrician.
Unsure how to find the right pediatrician? I’m here to help!
As you might already know, I’m not only the mom to a wonderful son. I’m also a bestselling personal development author with about 2 million books sold globally.
Plus I founded the therapist recommended video course called The Anxiety Cure.
I love sharing tools to help parents to feel calm and confident about their parenting and to support them in taking the best care of their kids.
And as a mother, I know how anxious you can feel as a first time parent, so I wrote this article with tips to help you in finding the right pediatrician!
After all, the right pediatrician will make parenting an effortless and truly rewarding process. More precisely, choosing the right pediatric care provider which you feel comfortable with, like Rexburg Pediatrics, shows that you care about giving your child good health care.
Unlike general physicians, pediatricians specialize in providing physical, behavioral, and mental care to children up to 18 years of age. Specifically, they diagnose and address chronic and acute illnesses, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and other developmental problems in children.
The primary goal of pediatricians is to help parents ensure that their children grow into happy, productive, and healthy adults. Pediatricians generally perform the following duties:
Besides undertaking additional training programs and courses to treat and diagnose certain medical conditions, they are trained to communicate with children effectively.
For a first-time parent, child care can be a strenuous area to explore. However, with the help of the right pediatrician, especially during the early stage, you can make the experience effortless and worthwhile. To start, here are the tips you can consider:
One of the ways to find a reliable pediatrician is to research. You can start by asking your friends or relatives. Someone from your social circle might know of a good recommendation.
While you can opt for your family’s recommendations, searching online may also be beneficial, especially if you’re unsatisfied with your current prospects. Browsing online can make it easy to compile and compare your options.
Then read what others say about your prospects online to get an insight into their services and medical practice. Typically, online reviews reflect the parents’ experience with the office environment, wait times, office staff friendliness, and scheduling appointments.
Reading reviews will let you know how the pediatrician deals with their clients, how others trust them, and how well they answer questions or concerns, among others. Once done reading reviews online, filter your list to make a wise choice.
If possible, meet your prospects in person before your child is born to know whom you’re most comfortable with. As a first-time parent, you must also anticipate the need for particular services for your child’s development and health, such as on-call assistance or at-home services.
Sometimes, people mistake a family doctor for a pediatrician, so another thing you should consider is to know the difference between the two. Before, it was easy to distinguish between the two since pediatricians were limited to seeing only patients within a certain age bracket. However, recently, that metric has become blurry.
Pediatricians typically see patients up to 21 years old. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics eliminated the upper age limit in 2017, saying that ‘the transition to adult care should depend on the patient’s needs.’
Today, the best way to know the difference between the two is their level of expertise in child care. Family doctors may accommodate patients of any age or see patients above a particular age bracket, but pediatricians have more profound knowledge and skills in child care and development.
Both family doctors and pediatricians complete roughly ten years of medical school and residency. Family doctors often complete a residency in family medicine, which may include pediatric and adult medicine training. Pediatricians only have to complete residency focusing on pediatrics.
While both can care for and treat patients, pediatricians focus on children’s growth, development, and behavior. Family doctors, on the contrary, can care for patients throughout their adult life.
Doctors are not legally mandated to accept health insurance. So you must check with your insurance provider to know which pediatricians are out of or in their network.
Being out of network, a doctor will not process your insurance to cover the costs of their services. On the contrary, if they are in the network, they will accept it.
If a pediatrician is far, you might find it easy to undermine the importance of a regular checkup and then skip it. An inaccessible location may also cause inconvenience in case of an emergency. Remember that children need multiple checkups annually, even if they don’t have any major or minor health issues. Therefore, it’s best to consider the accessibility of a pediatrician.
If you have a list of pediatricians, a surefire way to narrow down your list and eventually find the best is through an interview. Most doctors allow this type of appointment, that is, even if only to know whether you’re a good fit for each other.
You can do an initial interview via telephone to discuss what you’re searching for and ask about the general office procedures. It’s also helpful to talk about their philosophical and practical outlook.
If you’re impressed with the answers, schedule another interview to meet them personally to get to know them better. Here are some of the factors you can consider during the interview:
When choosing a pediatrician, their training experience matters. Ask and verify if the pediatrician is board-certified. It means they’ve completed medical school, passed the board exams, and undergone training. You might also want to check if the pediatrician is part of a professional association.
Parents visit pediatricians for several reasons, such as routine physical checkups, well-child visits, and chronic headache and allergy treatments. Therefore, be sure to know more about the pediatrician’s experience. The more experience a pediatrician has, the better their services are likely to be.
For instance, if your child has a particular condition, ask the doctor about their diagnostic and treatment success rates for the same condition. You can further ask them about the specific procedures necessary and the respective complication rates.
Convenient and easy communication with the healthcare team is crucial. You might want to stick with pediatricians who are available via phone and email to ask about your concerns. Check if the clinic has an online portal, through which you can review lab test results and schedule appointments. Pediatricians who offer same-day visits may also make a difference for other parents.
Some pediatricians specialize in certain types of services. Some specialize in social work, nutrition, lactation, and behavioral health, to name a few. So when searching for a pediatrician, check the services they offer.
The other services you may want to look into are related to modern convenience. For instance, do they offer telehealth services? Some people prefer telehealth medical services because it’s much more convenient and safer to consult a pediatrician online. You can also inquire about their home-care services. In the future, when at-home treatment is a more practical decision, you will no longer need to find another doctor to attend to your child.
There are other things you can do while you’re in the clinic. For instance, while waiting at the pediatrician’s clinic, ask other parents about their experience with the doctor. This way, you’ll know how the pediatrician takes care of his patients. Use the insights above if you don’t know what questions to ask.
During the consultation, the doctor’s responses and how they relay their answers will give you an idea of how compassionate, professional, and skilled they are. For instance, when they describe a health problem and your treatment options, you can take note of how conversant, confident, and friendly they are. A good pediatrician always gives room for questions, doesn’t condescend, and doesn’t make you feel they’re rushing with you.
A pediatrician will be your primary advisor and partner when caring for your baby. With that in mind, you must be comfortable and confident with their approach. You must also be decisive about whether they are trustworthy and reliable.
Moreover, pay attention to how the pediatrician interacts with your child. While most pediatricians are passionate about managing your child’s health, evaluating how a pediatrician interacts with your child is crucial to know whether you’re a good fit for each other.
Check if the office is clean. You should also observe how the staff works. If everything is well-organized and neat, the pediatrician might be suitable. Although it can be time-consuming to look around the office, it can help you assess and choose a pediatrician wisely.
These are some of the things you can check to determine the pediatrician’s professionalism. Inquire about the technology they use to know whether they are up to date with the latest healthcare advancements.
No matter your preferences or needs, trust your gut feeling when making a decision. If you felt something didn’t sit well with you while talking to them, it’s best to look for a different prospect.
Keep in mind that your child’s health is vital. Take your decisions seriously, and listen to your intuitions. If something is wrong, never settle, and invest in a reliable expert.
As a parent, you must understand that choosing the right pediatrician is crucial. Choosing the best pediatrician has several benefits, such as the following:
By selecting a board-certified and highly experienced pediatrician, you’re investing in your child’s long-term health. The right pediatricians offer good-quality services and use the latest treatment methods to provide your child with the highest possible standards of care.
It’s never a good idea to change your pediatrician regularly, as it may disrupt your child’s general treatment. Remember that doctors have varying approaches, and children rarely like change. Records may also get lost.
If you stay with the same doctor over time, you’ll feel more comfortable asking embarrassing questions and advice regarding your child’s care, puberty, and growth. All these problems require confidence and trust in the pediatrician from the child and parent alike, which is often built up over several years.
With the right pediatrician, you won’t have to keep switching from doctor to doctor. Sticking to one primary doctor throughout your child’s formative years will make it easy for all parties to establish the best ways to rear and nurture your child.
There are various things you must remember as a first-time parent. This is why it’s beneficial to have a reliable pediatrician who can remind you about immunizations and well-child exams, among other things.
Your pediatrician can also give you schedule information and is willing to change your appointments whenever necessary. In addition, having up-to-date records can help your pediatrician make a proper treatment plan or better diagnosis if your child develops allergies or gets sick.
Whomever you select will need to know when you’re due, about you, and other pregnancy issues you’re dealing with. Your newborn will meet your pediatrician within several days to undergo the standard checkup protocol, evaluating your child’s health.
You’ll need to consult your pediatrician for regular well-checks. When your kid is five years of age, they’ll need to have had 14 well-checks and other appointments for follow-up visits or diagnosing illnesses.
Moreover, you’ll have a long-term relationship with your chosen pediatrician. Although you can change your pediatric care provider anytime, you should focus on searching for a pediatrician whom you can stick with throughout your child’s adolescence. This way, they know your child’s growth and development, allowing them to understand your kid’s medical history and overall health condition.
Finding the right pediatrician may seem difficult. However, with proper research and little preparation, you’ll find the right pediatrician for your baby. Use the above guide to make the selection process easy regardless of what you’re searching for. And get explore my blog for more helpful parenting tips.
Explore my therapist recommended online course: The Anxiety Cure.
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