A pediatrician is an expert in the diseases and disorders that affect infants, children, and adolescents, especially those affecting mental, physical, and social development. Parents will often take their children to see a pediatrician soon after birth. The doctor will check the baby’s health and may recommend additional tests to determine how much time is needed for the baby to grow. A pediatrician will watch a child’s growth and development and help parents decide when to begin giving their baby routine preventative care. This article will teach you more about what questions to ask the doctor.
Deciding on a Pediatrician: Questions to Ask
1. How long have you been in practice?
This question is crucial because it demonstrates the doctor’s experience in dealing with babies. A pediatrician is likely to have specific expertise with a child’s condition, so it can be difficult for a doctor to explain their knowledge in the time allotted fully. You can try asking for more detail about a specific condition or any unique concerns you may have.
2. What is your specialty?
There are three pediatricians: general pediatricians, pediatric medical sub-specialists, and transitional-care specialists. A general pediatrician is the most common type, and they handle all of your baby’s needs. A transitional-care specialist has gone through extra training to be able to work with premature babies and special newborn conditions, such as breathing problems. That doctor may also specialize in illnesses that affect development and behavior in children, such as autism spectrum disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
3. What insurance plans do you accept?
A pediatrician is bound by the rules and regulations of their hospital or clinic regarding the types of insurance they accept. If you have a particular plan, it is essential to determine if your doctor will take it. Doctors who provide care for children with special health needs may have different requirements for accepting insurance plans, so you should call for specific information on these policies.
4. How do you handle emergencies?
In the unfortunate event that your baby comes down with an illness or has a medical emergency, it is essential to know what to do. If you have to go out of town for a family emergency or cannot reach the doctor immediately, how will they follow up on your child’s care?
5. Do you follow the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for vaccinations?
If you have specific questions or concerns about your baby’s immunizations, it is essential to find out what recommendations the pediatrician follows. You can ask your doctor or contact the AAP for more information about its current policy on childhood immunizations.
6. Do you work with an extensive network of specialists?
Some babies may have complications that a specialist best handles. For example, if your baby has a heart problem, you may need to follow up with a pediatric cardiologist. Even with regular checkups, you may also want to schedule appointments at separate pediatric specialty clinics for vision and hearing evaluations. If there is a doctor in your city who specializes in diseases that affect children, such as diabetes or cancer, finding out if your pediatrician works with them can be worthwhile.
While there are countless factors to consider when choosing a pediatrician, having someone you trust and feel comfortable with is essential. If your doctor has been practicing for a while, ask if they have reviewed any recent research on the latest treatments and medications for disorders that affect children. Knowing that your child is receiving the best possible care is essential.