Choosing a pediatrician for your child can be a difficult decision. There are many things to consider when looking for a pediatrician to ensure that your child receives the best care and that both you and your child are comfortable with the provider. It can be a good idea to ask for referrals from friends and family, to check reviews online if available, and to meet the doctor in question before making the final decision.
When looking for a doctor you’ll want to find someone who follows a similar health care policy as you do. Things like vaccination schedules, feeding philosophies and ideas on conventional vs holistic approaches should all be considered when choosing the right pediatrician for your family. Finding a doctor that believes and implements similar health care ideas is very important so that you feel completely comfortable with allowing them to care for your child. If you have strong feelings about controversial subjects like vaccinations, the prevalent use of antibiotics in children or conventional medicine, these should be discussed in depth before you select the doctor. Those who wish to follow a more holistic approach can seek a doctor who believes in similar ideas and won’t make the parent feel inferior for not following what may be considered the norm.
It’s always a good idea to set up an initial meeting with a potential doctor before deciding to use them as your child’s primary care provider. Your initial reaction to the doctor is a good indication of how your relationship will be with them. Make sure you find someone that you feel comfortable talking with about things like weaning, bathroom habits and other difficult subjects that may come up as your child grows. This initial meeting is also a good time to get a feel for the office. Many offices have well child areas for children who are there for checkups, while keeping separate areas for children who may have contagious illness. This is ideal with young ones because it can help keep them from getting illnesses their bodies aren’t yet prepared to fight off.
Some people choose to use a family doctor, or doctor of internal medicine, as the primary medical care provider for the entire family. This can be convenient as the doctor gets to know the family well and sees the children as they grow up and can continue to see them into adulthood. The other option is to choose a pediatrician who’s specialty is infants through late teens. This decision is purely based on preference for the family.
Whether you use a pediatrician for your child, or a doctor that specializes in internal medicine, the most important factor is to find someone you can relate to. You’ll be dealing with this person for many years so you’ll want to find someone who you’re comfortable with and who has similar health care beliefs. Choosing the right doctor can be difficult but it’s important to remember if you ever feel like your relationship with your child’s doctor isn’t working out, you can always seek other care to ensure you have the best fit.