Choosing the perfect pediatrician for your child can seem just like any other parenting activity. However, to do it right, there are certain considerations you should have in mind. Before I start on the selection process, it is good to define who a pediatrician is. This is a medical doctor who has received specialized training in health issues related to babies and children. Such doctors combine the training they get with specific skills enabling them to treat a vast array of childhood diseases and illnesses.
When should you start looking for a pediatrician? The perfect time to start looking is in the final months towards delivery. Once you have this in mind, you can proceed with the selection process. You should start with a list of recommended pediatricians in your local area. For this, you can ask your friends or family members who already have children to give you an opinion about their current pediatricians. You can also ask for recommendations from your personal care physician.
Once you have the list of the pediatricians, you should arrange a meeting with them so that you can gauge their education background, working experience and their general approach in treating children. At this point, you should be looking for a pediatrician who agrees with your most important concerns and one who communicates easily. A good pediatrician should be gentle, understanding and well versed in caring for children.
Apart from these, another factor to consider is the hours of operation. For mothers who will be staying home with their children, this may not be a major factor. A pediatrician giving flexible hours is the best one to choose. In this regard, you should find out from the pediatrician, who is on-call after hours. Other factors that you can also consider include how many patients the doctor attends to and the hospitals he or she is associated with. If the doctor attends to many patients, he might not be very helpful when your child falls ill suddenly.