Dec 31, 2013 Post By: Julie Henry, RN, MPA
6 Questions to Ask When Looking for a Primary Care Pediatrician
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a primary care pediatrician. Referrals, location, hours and if your child has a chronic condition are just a few.
Choosing a primary care pediatrician to care for your child may be one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a parent.
“There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a physician,” says Ray Tsai, M.D., president of MyChildren’s Pediatric Practice. “A good place to start is to ask for referrals from friends and neighbors. You’ll also want to look for a practice that’s convenient to your home, has convenient hours and takes your insurance. Before you make a final decision, set up an appointment to see how the practice runs and what type of rapport you have with the physician and office staff.”
During your initial appointment, Dr. Tsai recommends that you ask the following questions:
- Do you have experience with my child’s chronic illness or condition? If so, how comfortable are you in dealing with that condition?
- If your child has special health care needs, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with a physician who has experience treating children with those same conditions.
- Do you have a good working relationship with my child’s specialist(s)?
- A prior professional relationship may help to ensure good communication between your primary care pediatrician and your specialist(s).
- Under what conditions should I call the office, as opposed to bringing my child in to see the physician?
- What should I do if my child is sick after hours?
- Will you come to see my newborn at the hospital? If not, will someone else in your group see my child? If so, who?
- Do you speak my language?
- If you do not speak English, or if English is not your first language, you’ll have an easier time understanding treatment instructions if your physician (or someone else in the office) can speak your language.
“Pay attention to the physician’s personality or demeanor as your questions are being answered,” says Dr. Tsai. "Also, note whether the staff members appear to have the ability to work collaboratively with each other, how easy or difficult it is to make an appointment, whether or not the office is clean, if the staff seems friendly and whether or not the patients in the waiting room look happy.”
Selecting a pediatrician that you trust, and feel comfortable with, is an important step in the health and well being of your child. Take the time to do your research.
MyChildren's Pediatric Practice
MyChildren's is dedicated exclusively to children. Each of our offices is staffed by physicians who are board-certified in pediatrics.
- Has 16 convenient locations
- Cares for newborns through age 18
- Is affiliated with Children's Medical Center
- Accepts most insurance, including Medicaid and CHIP
- Has evening and Saturday morning hours
- Has doctors who speak multiple languages