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How Should I Choose a Pediatrician?

Article Details
  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 15 April 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Choosing a pediatrician is one of the most important decisions parents make concerning their children. It is also one of the first, so an excellent idea is to ask for a reference from the obstetrician as soon as your baby is born. Since most obstetricians work closely with pediatricians, they have a good base of information regarding which pediatrician is best suited to your child's needs. You may even want to ask for a list of references from which to select.

Also helpful is chatting with friends or neighbors who have children. Learn from other parents what they like or dislike about the pediatrician they use. Ask lots of questions. How long have they been seeing this doctor? Which one did they use before? Why did they stop seeing him or her? Is there anything particular, good or bad, that you should know about the current pediatrician?

There are many variables to keep in mind when you choose a pediatrician. Inquire about the doctor's credentials, any awards or complaints, and if the doctor has published writings in medical journals. Also, look into practical issues. Is the pediatrician's office conveniently located? How expensive is he or she?

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You will also need to learn about his or her insurance practices. First, does the pediatrician accept your insurance plan? Are there extra fees for filing insurance claims? You will want to find out whether you are expected to pay when service is rendered and wait to be reimbursed by your insurance company, or if the doctor's staff will simply bill your insurance provider.

There are many considerations when it comes to choosing a pediatrician for your child, including making sure your child is comfortable with him or her. Does the pediatrician have a good bedside manner? Is the doctor patient and friendly? Perhaps the most important question is whether the pediatrician be reached in an emergency, and if not, which doctor does he or she use to cover patients when not available? You will also want to learn more about any doctors who fill in for the pediatrician.

Choosing a pediatrician for your child is not an easy task, but you can make it less stressful by learning as much as possible before making a choice.

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