One of the first tasks as a new (or soon-to-be) parent is to select a pediatrician for your child. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the routine newborn examination take place anytime during the first twenty-four hours of life. Finding a pediatrician you trust is key. Every parent worries about their child’s health. That starts as soon as the mother finds out she is pregnant. Moms worry if their child is… Eating enough? Pooping enough? Sleeping enough? Especially for new parents, these feelings are magnified.
After all, who will calm a mother’s worry about her little one’s late night fever?
Pediatricians play a large role in the lives of the children they serve. Parents need to consider the following before selecting a pediatrician:
Trust Your Heart
A mother’s instinct never fails. Trust that feeling. No one knows your child better than you. You need to feel at peace with the decision regarding your child’s care. Trust. Yourself. And don’t settle.
The day you walk away feeling good about your decision, that’s when you know you’ve made the right choice.
Find Someone That is Reassuring
Find someone that listens to you and is genuinely concerned about your child’s health. Someone who reassures you that you are making the right decision, yet provides guidance and support from a medical standpoint.
Find a pediatrician that understands and sympathizes with you. They take each of your concerns (no matter how minute they sound) seriously. They listen to you, answer the question and put your worries to rest. They may not tell you what you want to hear, but you trust them to tell you the truth.
A parent should never feel like they cannot ask a question or bring up an issue.
Extension of Family
In the “village” that it takes to raise a child, consider your pediatrician playing a pivotal role. The pediatrician-family relationship is unique. A pediatrician is a source of parenting knowledge and support.
Pediatricians have the opportunity to walk alongside families through the most exciting and challenging seasons of life. This cultivates deep and meaningful relationships built on trust. Their goal should be to provide relevant, evidence-based medicine in an environment where children feel comfortable and parents feel their voices are heard.
Advocate for Your Child’s Well-Being
Many of us have started the conversation with the pediatrician as follows: “I know this sounds crazy, but…” This is normal.
A pediatrician is more than a doctor. They’re partners in your child’s overall health and well-being. A good pediatrician will help you weigh the pros and cons of important choices, and give you the freedom to decide what is best for your child and your family.
Choosing a pediatrician for your child is like any other relationship. It’s built on trust. The trust is between you and the pediatrician as well as your child and their pediatrician. Ultimately, your child needs to feel that connection. This interaction matters. The relationship your child forms with their pediatrician can influence his or her desire to seek medical attention when needed. A pediatrician should have a way with children that encourages comfort and trust.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to choosing a pediatrician. Deciding upon the best physician for your child is a personal decision for every family. Weigh these factors carefully in making the best decision for you and your child.
Your child needs an advocate in you and in their pediatrician.
Dr. Tamara Harper from Garden Park Physician Group – The Pediatric Center truly believes a parent’s trust in their pediatrician makes all the difference.