It is with great delight that I introduce my guest blogger today, Dr. Andrea Singh.
Andrea Singh, MD is a board-certified practicing pediatrician in Minnesota and mother of two boys, ages 10 yrs and 12 yrs. (Board certified pediatricians have completed at least 2-3 years of specialized post-medical school training in the care of children and passed Pediatrics certification/Board testing in the care of children.)
Top 3 Things to consider when choosing a Pediatrician
As a mom of 2 boys and a pediatrician, I often get questions about how parents can find a great doctor to care for their child. Here’s my top 3 things to think about…the first requires self-reflection, the other two are to be asked of the pediatrician or the office staff.
1. What do I need as a parent?
Ask yourself: Am I a first-time parent that is going to need lots of reassurance and guidance about parenting/normal development or am I an experienced parent that just needs the doctor when my child is ill? Personality styles and communication styles differ. You should seek out a medical care provider for your child that has a communication style and personality that fits well with your own.
The relationship between pediatrician, parent, and child is a partnership that hopefully you will all have for the next 18 years (if you have a newborn) and it is one place where you need to be very comfortable asking honest questions. That said, you may not figure this out until you actually have the first appointment in the clinic. If you do not click with the doctor at that first visit, it’s okay to find a different doctor for your child that you do feel comfortable with. Our common goal is wanting the best for your child!
2. How accessible is the Pediatrician?
This encompasses a lot…from how close to home is the office to how you can ask questions between routine check-ups. Do they have an after-hours nurse line? Is this doctor available for appointments after traditional work hours or on weekends? What about issues on a holiday… (because kids inevitably seem to get sick when you are hosting your entire family…)?
Find out about the team surrounding your chosen doctor – even great doctors have to have a day off…are there other doctors or care providers in the office that will see your child? Does your chosen doctor seem to trust this team? Does the team and office seem kid-friendly? Does this doctor seem genuinely interested in your child?
3. How often will my child need to be seen?
It’s very important to familiarize yourself with your clinic’s recommended visit schedule. If they don’t have any chronic medical issues, that may be all you need to know; however, if your child has one (or more) chronic medical issue(s) (such as asthma or ADHD), your doctor may want your child to be seen more regularly. Besides helping you know what to expect in the future, this question will also give you some insight into what your chosen doctor sees as priorities as your child grows. Many clinics will follow the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended visit schedule. You can ask about immunization schedules and recommendations at this time as well.
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Bottom line is that you should ask questions to help you become comfortable knowing you trust this doctor’s advice (which should be based on clinical guidelines), can talk with openly and that they have your child’s best interests at heart.
Do you have anything to add? Leave a comment below.