Searching for the ideal pediatrician can be challenging and time-consuming. Whether you’re new in town or are a new parent, you can take steps to make the process easier. While you may abide by nutritional guidelines and ensure your child gets enough sleep, playtime, and exercise, routine pediatric checkups and regular vaccinations are also essential for a child’s healthy development.
There are many reasons your child should see a pediatrician, including (just to name a few):
- Breathing troubles
- Changes in behavior
- Fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit
- Rashes or skin infections
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Sleep problems
- Sore throats
A designated pediatrician is familiar with your child and his or her health history, which makes office visits and diagnoses easier on everyone. But how do you go about finding the best pediatrician to meet your needs and expectations?
Discovering Dr. Right
Keep these tips in mind when looking for a supportive pediatrician for your child:
- Ask like-minded parents about their pediatricians. These parents could be friends; if you’re new in town, look for online parenting communities and ask for feedback about pediatricians in your area.
- Make a list of your general concerns and parental values related to health care. Ask whether a provider is willing to meet your needs and requests before making your decision.
- Schedule an interview with the pediatricians. Most won’t consider it an imposition or charge you for their time.The interview will give you a feel for the physician’s philosophy of care, personality, and accessibility. Some questions to consider asking in your interview include:
- Is the pediatrician available via phone or e-mail and, if so, when?
- What are the office hours?
- Does the pediatrician provide emergency coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
- Where does the office refer patients for care after hours?
- Is there access to pediatric specialists, if needed?
- What insurance plans does the office accept? And how is billing handled? (These questions are best answered by the office manager or front office staff.)
The above article in no way seeks to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice or care. Please consult your child’s primary care provider regarding any and all information contained therein.
Resources for Parents
- Let us help you find a physician.
- Sign up for the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital Kids Health Line e-newsletter.
- Download the free 4Kids Health app for your smartphone: a free smartphone app for kids’ health advice at your fingertips, 24/7.
- Where do you turn when you have a question about your kids’ health . . . and you need answers right now? Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent has answers. We’re just a phone call away, 24 hours a day at 317-338-KIDS. Our experienced nurses are standing by to take your questions about high fever, allergic reactions, burns, rashes, accidents, and more.
- If your kids need care right now, our Hilbert Pediatric Emergency Department is the only dedicated emergency room for kids on the Indianapolis Northside. We’re specialists in treating emergencies for kids – and we’re here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year.
- Parental Consent Form
- Kids Health Line: Answers and Advice about your Kids Health