Community Life - Cleburne, TX June/July 2020 - Page 42
Expecting parents must make a host of important
decisions before their children enter the world.
Finding the right pediatrician is one of the decisions
that expecting parents, especially those who are
expecting their first child, may find challenging.
The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that pediatricians
have special training in the health and illnesses
of children from birth through adolescence and into the
young adult years. In many instances, parents trust the
same pediatricians to look after their children’s health for
years on end, making the choice of pediatrician a highly
important one. In recognition of that importance, the
AAP facilitates the process of finding board-certified
pediatricians via the “Find a Pediatrician” tool on the
HealthyChildren.org website. Similary, the Canadian
Paediatric Society, via the website CaringForKids.cps.
ca, provides links to various organizations that can help
parents find pediatricians for their children.
The AAP recommends that expecting parents interview
pediatricians to learn more about them. Pediatricians
are accustomed to such interviews and will likely
be happy to schedule visits with expecting parents (or
parents who are looking for new pediatricians to care for
their children). During such meetings, the AAP advises
parents to ask the following questions.
• Which medical school did the pediatrician attend
and where did he or she undergo postgraduate or residency
• What are the pediatrician’s current hospital appointments?
This is an important question as it can indicate
which hospital a child would be admitted to in the event
that the youngster had to be hospitalized. Parents may
prefer certain hospitals and may want to find a pediatrician
who is affiliated with those preferences.
• Where is the pediatrician’s office located? Parents
who rely on public transportation should determine if a
pediatrician’s office is accessible by bus or train. Many
parents also prefer pediatricians who are local, as that
can make doctor’s visits more convenient, especially in
the case of sick visits.
• Who returns phone calls? Parents of newborns often
have many questions in the first few months of their
child’s life, and some may feel more secure knowing the
child’s pediatrician will be the one returning their calls.
• Is this a group practice? If so, how often will my
child see our preferred pediatrician? And who covers for
the doctors during vacations or times when the preferred
pediatrician is out of the office?
• What are the short notice visitation policies? These
policies will indicate how accessible a pediatrician is
when children develop spur-of-the-moment issues like
colds, sore throats, etc. Many parents prefer practices
that have daily walk-in hours.
• Which insurance does the practice accept?
When interviewing pediatricians, parents should not
hesitate to ask any questions they have. A good pediatrician
will welcome all questions and patiently answer
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