Finding the RIGHT pediatrician is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make. They will become your partner in raising a healthy child – managing your worries and concerns, offering meaningful advice and if you’re truly lucky, you will look at them as an extension of your family.
Roll back almost 5 years, I was about to give birth to my first. I asked a local parent-friend and she recommended a pediatrician in Park Slope who she was satisfied with. I was working FT, didn’t have the time to research, and did not necessarily understand the significance of the decision that I was (frivolously) making. I ended up giving birth to my daughter at Methodist Hospital, and immediately connected to the pediatrician on staff. He held my little girl like she was his own, with an aura of such warmth and compassion that could not be compared. It was instant, I knew he had to be our doctor! That is how we met Dr. Cao and the amazing staff at SSP.
I was very, very lucky that he was the pediatrician on staff that day and I was able to make the right decision after almost making a very hasty one. For those of us who understand the importance of finding the right pediatrician and actually doing the research, we’ve put together a list of questions that you should consider asking both the doctor and yourself:
A Good Fit (talk about Culture):
It’s important to find out if the practice you are visiting and the doctor you are meeting are a good fit for your family. One way to understand this is to evaluate their company culture.
– Was everyone nice, humble, helpful, attentive, detailed oriented?
– Did you feel ‘at home’ while experiencing the practice?
– Did you leave the meet and greet feeling excited?
– Did you feel like you “connected” with the staff?
– Have you noticed how the front desk team talks to patients?
– Test them on every channel: call the office and pay attention to how they speak. Email them and see how fast they reply. Reach out on social media and check if they respond and how (Please, remember that as per HIPAA medical information can’t be discussed on social media)
– Ask if the practice has established Core Values (most people will probably stare blankly for a few seconds). Establishing core values is the first step for a business to create and promote a company culture that turns a ‘cold business machine’ into a more human-like team that has your interest and happiness in sight at all times.
– How is the practice involved in their community? How do they give back?
To summarize, please don’t make the same mistake I almost did…do your research. Try to find other neighbors and friends who are patients of the practice you are interested in. See what they have to say. Ask all of the questions in the world – after all, you are trusting this person with your child’s health. What could be more important than that? 🙂
Posted by Jen Valu
10/13/2017 12:05:04 pm
I thought you made a great point how I ought to ask to meet the nurses that will be interacting with my child. To me, having a good staff is just as important as having a good pediatrician. Seeing as how you child will spend about the same amount of time around the nurses as the actual pediatrician, this is a tip I don't think anyone should skip over.
10/15/2017 02:10:53 pm
??? fully agree
1/22/2018 08:31:41 pm
I found it really helpful that you talked about finding out if the doctors are members of the AAP since that will be a good indication of the practice philosophy. My younger sister is looking to find a reliable pediatrician she can take her kids to. I'll be sure to talk to her about finding professionals who are a part of the AAP.
4/19/2018 06:43:51 pm
I like your suggestion to find a pediatrician who is in the network of your insurance provider. My husband and I are looking for the best doctor that we can start bringing our new baby too. We will definitely have to find a pediatrician that is covered by our insurance network so that we don't have to worry about paying for services.
7/16/2018 10:24:06 am
I liked what you said about testing them on how they speak over the phone or how fast they reply to an email. I have been trying to find a good pediatrician in our new city for our girls, but I've kind of just hit a road block in that area. I think that this will really help me to get a feel for each office as I try this out with a few candidates.
1/7/2019 10:17:54 am
I wanted to thank you for explaining some questions you should ask when you're looking for a pediatrician. It's good to know that you can ask something simple like what will happen during a well visit. This seems important especially if telling your child what will happen can help them be prepared for the visit.
1/18/2019 07:56:53 pm
Considering you are dealing with the health of your baby you will definitely want to make sure that you're asking the right questions when choosing a pediatrician. I particularly like that the article recommends asking to meet the nurses who will help care for your baby. That way you can make sure that you are comfortable with them handling your baby.
My wife and I are looking for pediatric doctor services in the town we just moved to. We need to make sure that our kids have all their shots so they can go to school. You give a lot of great tips. I'll have to make sure that I ask if I would be seeing the same doctor each time.
Thanks for coming up with this list of questions to ask and choose the right pediatrician. What caught my attention was your way to evaluate a company's culture. This would be me and my wife's first time looking for a pediatric doctor, and we both want to find a human-like place with established core values just as you mentioned. We will definitely be considering these questions!
10/26/2019 09:26:54 pm
I like it when you said that a good pediatrician has their own medical approach in practicing their knowledge and practice philosophy. I'm looking for a pediatric health clinic near our area where I can bring my newly born son for a consultation. It seems that his face and body are full of rashes that make him cry every night.
10/27/2020 01:17:21 am
I appreciate that this post reminded us that when choosing a doctor, such as a pediatrician, it is advisable to consider the location. It makes sense as it will impact our logistics and therefore, the time taken to reach the doctor. My wife and I just moved to a new town, and when we consider a family doctor, I will consider the location.
11/5/2020 09:42:16 pm
You made a good point when you mentioned ensuring the doctors are the members of the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) so you can ensure that they have the right practice philosophy. My family and I just moved to a new neighborhood last month and I am thinking to search for a clinic that we can attend to if we have any emergency cases. I will keep in mind to choose the doctor who is a member of AAP as he or she is surely reliable to help with my child's health situations.
11/23/2020 03:13:24 pm
I like your suggestion to ask about immunization policies and what tests are done at the office. My sister asked for my help finding a pediatric care clinic nearby so she won't be rushed to choose one after having her baby next spring. Thanks for teaching me what kinds of questions we can ask to make sure the pediatric care clinic we find is reliable!
3/11/2021 03:06:15 pm
It was really helpful when you said to ask about the average wait time! My sister was at my house for dinner last night, and she was telling me about how she and her husband are wanting to find a pediatrician before she gives birth to her baby, and they want to make sure that they can find the right one to see. I'll make sure to pass these tips along to them as they search for a pediatrician to see!
7/12/2021 02:45:34 pm
I like that you recommended seeing if they are part of the AAP. Asking that question actually lead me to the doctor I use for my daughter today! Thank you so much for the help I wouldn't have been able to find Dr.Clark without this article!
10/28/2021 05:09:34 am
Thank you for sharing such a valuable information
10/27/2022 06:36:21 pm
My brother just moved into a new area and he wants to get better care for his kids now that they are at the age where they can get hurt more easily. Finding a professional that can care for his kids could allow them to be safer. I liked what you said about how he should understand how they give back to the community and feel like he connects to the staff.
3/3/2023 08:41:12 pm
Great tip about knowing the copays. My primary care doc retired and I need a new one. I'll have to check online reviews.
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