It is important to set aside some time during your pregnancy to find a great pediatrician for your baby. When doing your research, look for a doctor with great personality and lots of experience, as well as one whose philosophy and treatment methods you agree with. Starting your search early will ensure that you find just the right doctor for children in Great Falls. Here are several criteria to keep in mind when making this important decision.
One of the most common ways to choose a doctor is by following the recommendations of your friends and family. If you know any couples with children, ask which pediatricians they see and whether they are happy with these practitioners. Ask them how much time the doctor spends with the child during every appointment, whether or not the pediatrician prescribes antibiotics on a regular basis, what the doctor’s bedside manner is, and similar important questions. Before you call any pediatrician recommended to you by others, decide if the referrer’s description of the doctor’s philosophy matches your own.
Besides friends and relatives, another good person to ask for recommendations is your general physician.
Weigh in the Practical Matters
Some of the practical things you will need to consider are whether the clinic is conveniently located, if the hours of operation fit your schedule, and whether your insurance plan is accepted. If your deductible is high, you might want to also find out how much the visits cost and make sure the co-pay will be within your budget. Other important questions to ask are whether the clinic is open on nights and weekends, if same-day sick appointments are offered, and what children’s hospitals the doctor is affiliated with.
Ask about the Pediatrician’s Approach
The doctor’s philosophy should be one of your top considerations, as this person is likely to care for your child’s health for many years to come. Before you stop by the clinic for your first consultation, ask yourself how you and your spouse feel about such important issues as antibiotics, breastfeeding, and parenting style.
Many parents these days feel that antibiotics are prescribed too frequently, for example, while others are fine with this treatment method. Decide how you feel about it and ask your doctor what he or she thinks of antibiotics as well. Similarly, ask yourself several parenting style questions, on aspects like discipline and feeding style. Raise these topics with the pediatrician to see if his or her approach is similar to yours. While you don’t have to agree with the doctor on every single issue, having philosophies that are generally similar will help you feel more comfortable with this person treating your child. It will also help prevent any major disagreements in the future.
Other Things to Ask About
Other important issues you should address when interviewing potential pediatricians for your child include how long you should breastfeed, whether or not the doctor makes home visits, and what advice he or she can give you on potty training. You should also address things like the location of newborn exams and rooming in, which are important for many parents.
While you can ask the doctor about things like education and training, remember that these are not necessarily the factors that determine if someone is a good pediatrician. What’s more important is your gut feeling about this person. Does the doctor strike you as caring, kind, and truly concerned about the well-being of his or her young patients? Do you feel like all your questions have been answered and your concerns addressed? Do proper research and consider all these important criteria when choosing a doctor for children in Great Falls.