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Let's Talk Raising Healthy Kids

How to Find the Best Doctor for your Children

Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

Taking care of your children’s major medical needs is something most parents are not personally qualified to do. When your child requires treatment beyond a bandage and a hug, knowing where to turn for the best treatment requires prior due diligence on your part. These tips will help you find the best doctor for your children, so when the need arises, you’ll know exactly which medical professional to entrust the care of your child to.

Ask Other Parents
An invaluable resource for finding the best doctor is other parents. Ask family members and friends their candid opinions about the pediatricians they use for their own children. Parents with children a couple of years older than your own will often have the most doctors visits under their belts and be able to relate first hand experience with pediatricians in your local area. Ask other parents about pediatric care at local hospitals too. You never know when a childhood emergency may arise and some hospitals provide better pediatric care than others.

Check Online
After you gather the opinions of trusted family and friends, do an online search of the doctors mentioned, both the good and bad. Most doctors, and/or the hospital they are affiliated with, will have a website where you can check out their credentials and read patient testimonials. An online background check can also reveal any past or present malpractice suits or lack therefore.

Shop Around
Nothing can take the place of a one-on-one interaction when looking for a new doctor. Visit the top three doctors on your list the next three times your children are sick (unless you hit it off immediately with the first pediatrician). Pay attention to their bedside manner; how they interact with your kids and with you. Children will be less fearful of a doctor they like and will be more willing to go when needed.

Keep a Journal
Keep a medical journal for each child, not only to record illnesses or medical miles stones, but to record medical care. Write down each visit to the doctor and include information like how long it takes to get an appointment for a sick/well child, how long is the office wait on the day of the appointment, the nurses’ and doctor’s demeanor, time spent with the child, medications prescribed, reaction to the medicines and how much time elapses until the child is well. Log in all pertinent information, so over time you will be able to track the medical care your child is receiving and determine if it’s the best or if it’s time to shop for a new pediatrician.

Ask your Child
And last but certainly not least, talk to your child about his or her doctor. If your child is old enough, ask and listen to what they have to say about their pediatrician. If your child ‘loves’ her doctor, is comfortable in the doctor’s office and is receiving adequate medical care for the common ailments of childhood, you may have already found the best doctor for your children.

 

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