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6 Tips for Picking a Pediatrician

6 Tips for Picking a Pediatrician

[Elena Shea, MD, IBCLC knows preparing to be a new parent can be at times overwhelming. Here are 6 tips that make choosing the right pediatrician for your family easier. ]

When I was pregnant with my oldest, one of the hardest decisions I had to make was choosing who was going to be my kid’s doctors. 

I lived far from the practice I worked for and I knew I wanted to have a doctor close to our home, just in case. 

I spent a lot of time researching practices near home and signed up for several meet-the-doctor appointments. 

In the end it was a combination of things that led us to our amazing pediatric practice.  

 

Picking a pediatrician for your kids is such an important decision.

Here are some tips for picking the best doctor for your family:

 

1 Ask for recommendations.

Ask your family and friends who they take their kids to and ask them why they like their doctor.

Ask if there are any practices they did not like and why.

 

2 Do your research.

Practices generally have a website with a lot of information and many offer meet and greets with doctors.

Check their location and hours and make sure they work with your schedule/location.

Make sure they take your insurance and are accepting new patients. 

See if there are any special things they offer, like in-house lactation consultant, testing and blood draws.  

 

3 Check credentials.

Your pediatrician should have completed a pediatric residency after medical school.

They should be, or be eligible to be, board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.  

 

4 Consider experience.

How long has your doctor been out of training?

Did they further specialize in any other pediatric specialty?

What is their range of experience? 

 

5 Make sure they are up to date on current research and guidelines.

Medicine is constantly changing and it is crucial your doctor stay up to date on current guidelines and recommendations.

They should also be willing to say, “I don’t know.”

A good doctor is a lifelong learner who is willing to acknowledge holes in their knowledge and be willing to look up the information. 

 

"Your pediatrician should be willing to say, “I don’t know.”"

 

6 Make sure you like them.

You will see your pediatrician at least 7 times in your baby’s first year of life.

They should be a trusted resource that you can ask anything to.

But everyone is different and sometimes personalities don’t click.

That is ok.

We don’t expect patients to stay with us if we are not a good fit!

Be honest and look for someone who you do click with.

We don’t take it personally. We want the best for your baby too.

Take advantage of meet-the-doc visit. 

 

We don’t expect patients to stay with us if we are not a good fit! Be honest and look for someone who you do click with. Click To Tweet

 

*A word about alternative vaccine schedules

All pediatricians should be discussing and recommend vaccines at appropriate visits, per the AAP guidelines.

If you plan to follow a not-CDC approved schedule or refuse all together, I encourage you to openly discuss it with your pediatrician.

Every practice has different policies concerning vaccines.

The topic can be a point of division but please remember, our ultimate goal is to keep your child healthy. 

 

Preparing to be a new parent can be at sometimes overwhelming. Hopefully these tips make choosing a the right pediatrician for your family easier. 

 

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