As a parent one of the most important things you can do for your child is take them regularly to a pediatrician. Doctors can monitor your child’s growth and development in ways that you may not have noticed.
As a first time parent, or perhaps someone moving to a new town, how do you choose a good pediatrician? It’s easier than you think.
First, call their office. Is their staff friendly? Are they willing to answer your questions? Ask to visit their office and meet with the doctors. I always call their after hours phone number to see what the procedure is for on call questions. I don’t ever actually go so far as to get a doctor on the phone, but I want to see what type of service they have. Is it an answering service that takes calls for the doctors and has them call you back? Or do you have the option of being directly connected to the on call doctor? If all of this feels good to you, sit with the pediatrician of your choice.
Ask them questions. Are they irritated that you are asking questions? Do they take the time to listen to your concerns? In your appointment did you feel rushed? If you have older children it is important that the doctor pays adequate attention to the child, and interacts with them not just you. Also, with older children it is extremely important that they feel comfortable with their doctor. If your 5 year old daughter who has always seen a male doctor suddenly wants to see a female, what is the harm?
Above all, use your mommy or daddy radar. If something feels wrong, it probably is. Never be afraid to change doctors if you don’t like one.