If you have a young child, you of course want to find the best pediatrician. Which is easier said than done! As someone who’s daughter has spent more than her fair share in doctor’s offices, I have learned that the best pediatricians will always meet these 6 criteria.
I have never failed to find interesting the fact that new moms will agonize for hours over the best carseat, the prettiest pack-n-play, the trendiest stroller…but will spend very little time researching the one person who could have the biggest impact on their child’s health and well being – their pediatrician.
And having learned the hard way, I cannot emphasize enough how important this person is.
My oldest daughter has a myriad of (while non-life threatening) troublesome health issues. Some surfaced as early as infancy (not nursing, lack of desire to eat real food, trouble sleeping, etc) but her pediatrician said all these things were “normal.”
Fed up, I found a new pediatrician…they uncovered the fact that she was having some sinus infections but still didn’t help me much beyond that.
Enter our 3rd pediatrician (whom everyone in my neighborhood just “loved”) and this was probably our worst experience yet. They completely missed the fact that she very obviously needed a tonsillectomy (I had to point it out) and told me children her age didn’t get sinus infections (indeed they do and she was having them chronically).
So finally, just before her 5th birthday, I found a really good pediatrician.
And while she has not been able to solve all of Hannah’s issues, she has worked with me to find new ideas, go different directions and in general, just listen. Our current pediatrician was the first to realize Hannah had an undiagnosed sinus infection (possibly for a year), that she needed to be checked for allergies and that she definitely needed a new ENT.
So 2 years later, I am still on a quest to get my daughter well but we are light years ahead of where we were before.
I encourage every new mom and current mom to review this list of 6 things and make sure you can check them all off when finding a good pediatrician!
A Checklist For Finding The Best Pediatrician
1. Find A Doctor Who Runs BEHIND On Appointments – I always hear my friends complaining about their doctors who “made them wait” 30 minutes past their appointment time. And how mad this made them.
And all I can thing about is how there have been times our doctor has spent extra time with one of my girls addressing a problem or explaining things to me despite it running over our allocated “15 minutes.” So I figure when she comes in late to see us, it’s because she’s giving that same kind of attention to another patient.
That’s the kind of doctor I want for my kids.
2. Find A Doctor Who Listens To You – Not one that comes in and makes you feel rushed and already has a diagnosis in the first 2 minutes.
3. Find A Doctor That Your Child Likes – We went to one doctor who was harsh and had zero patience for my 2 year old that didn’t want to be examined or quiet. Come on’ people….we are talking about a 2 year old…a doctor that specializes in kids should be more understanding.
We quit going there pretty quickly.
4. Find A Doctor That Is Nearby…But MAYBE Not The Closest One – One big mistake I made when we moved to a new town was choosing the pediatrician’s office 5 minutes from our house. I had a toddler and a newborn and I figured we would be at the doctor’s a lot (and I was right).
But choosing convenience for me honestly set me back 2 years in getting a better diagnosis for my daughter. Our current ped is across town…not far, but not as close. But definitely worth the drive.
5. Find A Doctor That Moms YOU Look Up To Choose – As a new mom, I was so quick to choose a doctor that all of my friends or neighbors recommended.
It wasn’t until later that it dawned on me that, while I may have a lot of friends, not all of them model the kind of mother I want to be. Once I started asking those moms I really admired who they chose as their pediatrician, my choices became a lot clearer.
6. Find A Doctor That A Friend With A Difficult To Diagnose Child Recommends – Sure, it’s easy to say you love your child’s doctor if you only see them for well-checks and the occasional ear infection.
Show me the mom who’s child has vague but persistent symptoms. The child who has been to multiple doctors with no diagnosis.
Show me THAT mom and I will know her doctor recommendation will come from a different place. One of heartache and desperation. One of tears and worry. One of exhaustion. HER recommendation will carry weight that the others cannot.
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