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Let’s say you’re having a baby, or maybe you’ve recently moved to a new town, or possibly your insurance no longer covers your current pediatrician.  Any way you look it at, you need a pediatrician and selecting one is a very important decision.  After all, this is the person you are trusting with the care of your child or children.  Here are some things you can do that should help you choose this soon to be very important person in your life.

Ask people you know and trust 

Friends, family members and co-workers, who have children, and who you respect and trust may be able to help get you pointed in the right direction.  If you’re pregnant, possibly your obstetrician can help.  If you’re changing doctors, and you trust your current pediatrician, ask them for a recommendation.  If you’ve moved to a new town and know nobody, or you need more help, you might try this link:  FIND A PEDIATRICIAN  from the American Academy of Pediatrics.   It’s a good idea to get several suggestions so you will have a pool to choose from.

Check the doctor’s website 

Many doctor websites offer great basic information about their practices. Hopefully, you can find out about the doctor’s medical background and training, how long they’ve been a pediatrician, office hours, languages, insurance, other doctors they work with and more.

Location and hours   

Is the pediatrician’s office near your home?  Is it easy to get to?  Parking?  What hours do they work?  What about after hours and weekends?

In person meeting with the pediatricians on your short list 

This short list should be 2 or 3 doctors.  Set up a meeting with each one.  Most should be willing to schedule an on-line or in-person meeting for no cost, or possibly just a small fee.  When you talk with them, it’s important to make sure you’ll be able to work with them.  Prepare a list of questions on topics important to you.  That can include matters like breastfeeding, special healthcare needs, circumcision.  Don’t be shy.  Ask tough questions. You want to be sure you’ll have a relationship of trust so you can agree on a healthcare plan that works for you, your child and your doctor.

Hospital affiliations 

If your insurance requires a specific hospital, or, if you prefer a specific hospital, make sure the pediatrician is affiliated with it.

Board certification  

This basically says the pediatrician has achieved knowledge for high quality and up to date medicine.  In order to be board certified, most physicians must pass exams, and usually be involved with continuing education.

Even after collecting information and interviewing doctors, the decision, many times, comes down to who you are most comfortable with, so trust your feelings and go with the one that feels right to you.