Pediatricians are probably one of the most in demand medical professionals. Maybe this is because children are at risk of contracting diseases that are unique to their age group. What’s worst is, these children’s signs and symptoms may vary which makes it difficult to identify what exactly is wrong with the child. Toddlers and infants themselves cannot verbalize what they feel or what is bothering them so it is an added burden too. These are just some reasons why you must know at least a pediatrician or two in your area.
Now, maybe you just moved in from another city or maybe you are a first time parent who is anxious of your child’s health. Or maybe your pediatrician has already retired. Your concern now is to look for a pediatrician who can provide care to your child in a long term basis. Your pediatrician should be someone who you can call in the middle of the night or whenever the need arises. He or she should be someone who has the experience or has undergone the necessary training in treating a variety of childhood diseases. How do we know who the perfect pediatrician suited for your children’s needs then? Let this article be your questions to ask your pediatrician guide.
First, some basic expectations. A pediatrician’s education includes completing a post graduate Doctor of Medicine degree, a year of internship, and few more years of residency training. Some even proceed to completing a sub-specialty degree. One thing you should always remember is that Pediatricians should be certified by the American Board of Pediatrics after passing a comprehensive examination covering all areas of health related to infants, children, and young adults. Other pertinent information that you would want to know about your pediatrician includes:
- Practice Location/s
- Contact Numbers and Email Address
- Educational Information
- How long have you been practicing? Years in practice?
- Do you have any sub-specialties? Fellowship training? Additional degrees?
- What are your hours? Do you offer evenings or weekends?
- Do you offer same-day sick appointments? How far in advance do well appointments need to be scheduled?
- What if my baby/child gets sick when the office is closed? Who covers in an emergency if you aren’t on call?
- Is this a solo or group practice? If it’s solo, who covers when you are gone? If it’s a group, how often will we see you, and how often will we see other members?
- Will your initial meeting with my baby/child be at the hospital or the first checkup? What is your schedule for well checkups?
- Will you discuss my child’s general growth and issues like discipline, social, psychological, and personal development?
- What other hospitals do you work with?
- Do you take my insurance?
Remember that you are not administering a test to your pediatrician. There is no right or wrong answers here and there is definitely no scoring system to screen the good ones from the bad. This checklist is simply a guide for you to be able to know the pediatrician fully. It will ask the most comprehensive questions so that at the end of the day, you can reflect on their answers and choose a pediatrician who shares the same views as you. You may even choose more than one pediatrician, just in case your first choice pediatrician will be unavailable in the future.