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What Should You Consider When choosing a Pediatrician?

The best time to begin looking for a pediatrician is while you’re pregnant at 28 to 34 weeks, when you probably already know what you want and have enough time to do your homework. The process may look complicated, but know that you’re not looking for the Best Pediatrician in the World – you just want who’s best for your child and has great chemistry with you.

Scouting for Prospects

Collect a minimum of three – if not half a dozen names – from friends, relatives and colleagues. If you need more, visit the referral website of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Ask for leads from your insurance provider too.

Next, check out the location of your prospects’ offices. Definitely, you’ll want a quick commute. Know which hospitals your candidates are affiliated with; they should be convenient as well as reputable.

Meeting the Doctors

Now it’s time to whittle down your list and schedule a meeting with at least three candidates on your list. Don’t forget to check if they will bill you for your first consult. Some doctors actually will, and, in most cases, insurance will not pay for the fees.

What You Should Ask at the Interview

Do you have children? Don’t hesitate to ask this undoubtedly personal question. You’re putting your little angel’s welfare in the hands of this individual, so you simply can’t leave any questions unasked. Mothers or even fathers may prefer a pediatrician who has the same empathy and hands-on experience that they have being parents. Of course, pediatricians without kids can be just as great, and this is mostly a matter of personal choice.

What do you think about breastfeeding, circumcision and vaccines? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding for infants at least until their first birthday. Doctors vary in their position on this and the circumcision debate. In any case, your child’s pediatrician’s views should be parallel to yours. And although some pediatricians will those who refuse immunizations for their children, others will not accept patients unless they are placed on an immunization table.

What are the pediatrician’s credentials?

This is one question you might want to ask the clerk instead of the doctor himself. Below are the most crucial designations to look for:

Board Certification: Pediatricians are doctors who have completed medical school plus a three-year pediatrics residency. On top of that, a board-certified pediatrician is one who has passed a number of rigorous exams, and will be taking more such exams on a regular basis for as long as they are practicing.

AAP Membership: See if your potential doctor is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which shows that he follows the organization’s high standards and guidelines. Finally, if the doctor has an FAAP listing, that means he is board certified and belongs to the AAP.

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