Choosing a pediatrician for your child - where to look for information?
Choosing a good pediatrician is not an easy task and requires that you spend enough time searching. But where is the easiest way to get information about the medics available in your area?
- Family and friends - it is a good idea to consult your own family and friends. This is especially true when there are young parents among our relatives who, like us, had to undergo the process of seeking a pediatrician for their toddler, and thus are able to share their recommendations with us.
- Local internet forums - they are a great place where we can listen to advice and exchange experiences about pediatricians with other parents from our area.
- Internet portals collecting opinions about doctors - on the network you can find numerous portals that collect opinions about individual doctors. On these pages you will usually find specialist scores, patient comments and other useful information (among others, the place where the doctor receives, his working hours and rates if we want to use his services as part of a private visit).
At this point, however, it is worth noting that the opinion of other people is always in somewhat subjective, and hence, it will never replace our own. We will only make this one if we talk to a given pediatrician ourselves and see how his contact with our child looks like.
What should characterize a good pediatrician?
As we mentioned earlier, finding a good pediatrician requires us to devote a sufficient amount of time and answer the question what we, as parents, expect from a given specialist and how we imagine cooperation with him. So, what should we pay attention to first:
- Experience - in many fields of medicine, especially in pediatrics, what counts is the doctor's experience, which he gains during his years of work with children and numerous conferences and training courses.
- Knowledge and how to transfer it - the second important criterion for choosing a doctor is his knowledge and how to simply pass it on to parents who have the full right to know and understand the health of their child.
- The doctor's approach to the child - undoubtedly, some pediatricians have the gift of winning the children's sympathy and creating an atmosphere around them that makes the toddler feel safe and allow himself to be examined.
- The doctor's approach to parents - it should be remembered that the pediatrician and parents are equal partners whose common goal is the health of the toddler, whom they look after together. Therefore, there is no place in this relationship for misunderstanding or even reluctance of either party.
- The ability to admit ignorance - pediatrics is a huge branch of medicine, and thus, it is impossible for a doctor to be an expert in any of its branches. Thus, it is important for the pediatrician to be able to admit to parents that they are ignorant or inexperienced in a given field and direct them to another specialist who will be able to better help their child.
- Ability to listen to parents - parents are often able to notice subtle changes in the behavior and appearance of their child, which would remain incomprehensible during the examination of the toddler in the doctor's office. This, in turn, means that the pediatrician is required to listen to the child's guardians and trust them.
- The doctor's application of basic hygiene principles - at the first visit, it is worth paying attention to whether the doctor cares about the basic hygiene rules (among other things, whether he washes his hands before the visit and after contact with our child, and whether he wipes the diaphragm of the stethoscope after listening to the toddler's chest). This is extremely important, because dozens of sick children pass through the doctor's office every day, which in turn makes it very easy to transfer the infection from one toddler to another.
In summary, the pediatrician and parents should form a harmonious team whose primary goal is to take care of the child's health and proper development. Hence, the choice of a medic dealing with our child must be a thoughtful choice and fully consistent with our expectations and preferences.