First off, what is a pediatrician? A pediatrician is a medical doctor that specializes in the care of infants, adolescents and children as old as 21. Many pediatricians are also trained in subspecialties such as neonatal medicine and cardiology. Pediatricians provide preventive care to healthy children and medical care to children with illnesses. The care they provide includes physical, mental and emotional support. Most pediatricians offer a variety of services for children and their parents. Pediatricians must complete the requirements set by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP).
- Graduation from an approved medical school
- Three years of pediatric residency training
Now that we know what education a pediatrician obtains and services that provide to the parent and child what questions do we ask and how do we get referred to a one? Asking friends, relatives and your prenatal care provider for referrals is a good start. The write down the important questions that need to be answered such as whether you prefer a male or female pediatrician or the approximate age of the pediatrician (if it matters to you). Scheduling interviews with more than one pediatrician might seem to be unnecessary but it is worth taking the less than 10 minutes for a brief interview in order to get a “feel” for his/her personality and approach. A couple of questions you may ask the pediatrician when you interview them are as follow:
- What is your educational background and training?
- What hospital would you admit my child to in an emergency?
- What is your philosophy about breastfeeding? For example, do you make referrals to lactation consultants?
- What is your philosophy about circumcision and the use of antibiotics?
- If you are unavailable when I call, will your nurse be available?
- Does your office accept my insurance plan or make other payment arrangements?
Story Adapt from: http://americanpregnancy.org/planning/choosing-a-pediatrician/