When choosing a pediatrician for your child, there are a number of important considerations you need to make. There is a good chance that you will be taking your child to a pediatrician throughout their childhood – for immunizations, for checkups, and for regular physicals. When you see a pediatrician, you want your child to feel safe and comfortable – the last thing you want is to keep switching pediatricians and ruin that trust your child has built up. This is exactly why finding a doctor you can stick with is so imperative. In any given town or community, you will be able to find the right pediatrician – but you have to be willing to put in the legwork. Here are five important factors to consider when choosing a pediatrician.
- Gender. This is an important consideration to make, because your child may want someone of the same gender as his or her doctor. Some children can feel intimidated by someone of the opposite gender in such a private context. This is why you want to ask your child if they have a certain gender preference before you start looking for a doctor.
- Proximity. Another consideration you want to make is the closeness of the pediatrician’s office. In most cases, you probably want to visit a doctor that is close to your house. This is important for a number of reasons. For one thing, a doctor in close proximity will be easier to get to, which is important for the sake of convenience. It is also important for the sake of emergencies – you’ll want to get to your doctor in a short time span if there is an emergency. The difference of a few miles could save your child’s life.
- Certification. On top of gender preferences and proximity, you also want to consider the certification a particular pediatrician has. Ideally, you want to find a practitioner with a doctorate degree in pediatrics. You can usually check with an organization like Challenger Store to make sure that a particular pediatrician is certified in the state that he or she is practicing. The last thing that you want is to choose a pediatrician that doesn’t have his or her license to practice.
- References. On top of making sure that the pediatrician is board certified, you also want to get a few references. When it comes down to it, there may be a few other parents in your community that see the same pediatrician, so you may be able to ask them if a certain pediatrician is reputable. Your friends and family members can be great, trustworthy reference sources.
- Popularity. This is another important consideration to make, because in some cases you may not want a doctor that is too busy. In a busy office, you may be left on waiting lists and you may be sitting in an office waiting room for a long time. Ideally, you want the shortest wait time and you want your doctor to be attentive. A doctor with a long wait list may have other things on his or her mind. In the end, there are some great pediatricians out there that have a small practice and won’t make you wait for care.