As a parent, the health of your child is of the utmost importance. Choosing a pediatrician for your family and building a strong relationship with him or her is one of the best things you can do for your child’s health.
How do you choose the best pediatrician for your son or daughter?
If you have a baby on the way, have recently moved to the Memphis area, or aren’t satisfied with your child’s current doctor, you may be in the process of choosing a pediatrician. Each individual’s health needs are different, but we have some general guidelines to help you find the right doctor for your child.
Choose a Pediatrician with Convenient Locations
One of the first things you will want to consider is how close a prospective pediatrician’s office is to your house. It can take some time to get sick children out of bed, into the car, and on their way to see the doctor, so choosing a pediatrician with an office nearby can be really helpful. Prospective Pediatrics East families can choose from several locations in Arlington, Bartlett, Cordova, Germantown and Collierville, whichever is most convenient for them.
Consider a Pediatrician’s Office Hours
Are you able to bring your child to appointments during regular business hours? If you’re a working parent, check to see if your prospective pediatrician’s office offer flexible options outside of the typical 9-5. For instance, here at Pediatrics East, we’re glad to offer early morning weekday walk-ins (Note: Beginning March 17, 2020, walk-in appointments have been suspended until further notice.) at all of our locations, a night clinic by appointment at our Germantown location, and a weekend clinic for sick children at our Cordova location. A full overview of our office hours can be found here on our website.
Choose a Pediatrician with the Right Personality
Just as you build friendships with certain people when your personalities are compatible, you will want to choose a pediatrician with whom your family is compatible. For example, if you or your children get nervous at the doctor’s office, someone with a calming presence and easygoing demeanor might be what you need. If your family is really outgoing and always laughing at each other’s jokes, a pediatrician who is particularly upbeat and engaging will likely resonate well with your children.
Above all, it’s important to find a pediatrician that you and your child feel comfortable with and enjoy seeing, because you will be visiting his or her office for many years as your child grows up.
Determine the Pediatrician’s Medical Expertise
Besides selecting a pediatrician you can connect with personally, you will also need to choose someone whom you trust to give you the important medical advice you need. Check to see that your family’s pediatrician is either board certified or eligible to be board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. For Pediatrics East physicians, this information is available on the doctors' pages of our website.
Also, ask around among family and friends, because word of mouth recommendations can very helpful and are usually extremely honest. Additionally, consult your insurance company to determine that your pediatrician is included in your plan’s coverage and can care for your child in a nearby hospital, should an emergency arise or serious illness occur.
Assess the Pediatric Practice as a Whole
Even though you’re choosing one specific pediatrician, it’s important to step back and consider his or her pediatric practice as a whole. If your child needs to be seen sooner than your doctor’s appointment schedule can accommodate, or if you need to go to the after hours or weekend clinic, you may not be able to see your regular pediatrician. This is why it’s important to become familiar with the practice as a whole when choosing a pediatrician.
Larger practices with multiple locations like PedsEast have plenty of caring pediatricians to meet your needs when you have an unexpected illness and your regular doctor is unavailable. An additional benefit to a pediatric practice like ours is your child’s medical records will be available to any doctor you see, so with us, your children will always receive the personalized treatment they need.
Meet Your Child's Pediatrician
Whether you're a PedsEast family or go to another pediatric office, a strong, lasting relationship with a particular pediatrician can be invaluable for the purpose of keeping up with a child’s medical history. Seeing the same pediatrician consistently also allows your child to grow comfortable enough with his or her doctor to express “what hurts” or how they feel.
One advantage of a larger group like ours is that you have options if your child connects better with a different pediatrician. To help you find the right doctor for your family, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our pediatricians. We understand that even a brief interaction can really help you to determine if you will be able to build a lasting relationship with a certain pediatrician.
We hope these guidelines on how to choose a pediatrician can help your family make a great decision, and please feel free to ask us any other questions you might have about our pediatric practice at your consultation.