Published on in Health Tip of the Week
So, your family's about to get a little (or a lot) bigger. You've got the best gear, signed up for all the right classes, ordered the right books. ... But how much thought have you given your baby's pediatrician?
Choosing the right doctor for your child is one of the most important decisions you'll make for you and your baby.
Sure, you'll want to consider convenience and office hours: Is it close to home, are they open late or on weekends? What about expertise — where did they do their training, are they board-certified? Do they come recommended by friends and family? What's their philosophy on things important to you?
And what about those hope-this-never-happens moments? Where will they send you if your child needs to see a specialist? Finding a pediatrician connected to a top children's hospital can help remove some of the worries and the "what ifs."
There's a lot to think about with a baby on the way. So, the pediatricians at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have compiled the most important things for you to consider.
It can help to look for a practice that fits into your life and can support you, too, by being there when you need them. You'll want both convenience and quality care, from a doctor you can trust to be on your side through your child’s development and growth. A good pediatrician will be available to your entire family to offer advice from infancy through adolescence.
Questions to ask:
- Is the pediatrician close to where I live and can the practice accommodate my schedule?
- Who can I call when the office is closed?
A good pediatrician knows how to listen to you and your child. They understand the unique needs of parents and young families and can dispel myths, alleviate fears, and provide information you need — at the right time. You want someone who you can speak to honestly and collaborate with on the care of your child.
Questions to ask:
- Do their values match our family's priorities and preferences?
- Can I meet the team and tour the office before I give birth?
Consider the level of training of the provider who will care for your child. Are they board-certified in pediatrics? Do they offer specialized training in breastfeeding, child development, or other things that will meet your family's needs? And does the practice have direct access to pediatric specialists, if and when they need them, for reference or advice?
Question to ask:
- Are they connected to a larger care network or hospital system that can meet my family’s needs beyond wellness, for things like surgery and specialty care?
Make an informed choice
Becoming a parent or growing your family is a time of huge transition. It can, at times, feel like a rollercoaster ride. But it's all part of the process; the joys and challenges of being a great parent. And when your child is here, having the right pediatrician by your side can make all the difference in the world.
When you choose a pediatrician at one of CHOP’s 30+ Primary Care practices, you become part of one of the country’s top children’s hospital networks. We work with families like yours every day at our locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We get to know you and your family and work to build a relationship based on trust and communication. And we do it all with one goal: to give your child the best care possible, keeping them happy and healthy throughout infancy, childhood, into their teens and beyond.
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