Picking a Pediatrician is hard. I never realized that it would be so difficult to pick a doctor for your children. We moved from Georgia to Kansas to Florida with our children. Along the way our kids have seen five different pediatric doctor’s offices. I was fortunate to only have one stop in Georgia and Kansas. In Florida it seemed a harder choice. There is a lot of population density in central Florida, and our insurance isn’t typical. My husband works for a company based in the Midwest, and our preferred providers are scattered through the area we now live.
How do I pick a pediatrician? I go off of the opinions of other moms. Not a bad choice, but not always the best choice. Different parents and kids make for different doctor styles. I’ve learned over the course of our three years here in Florida that there are pediatric offices on nearly every square mile of real estate here. Seriously…there are a lot of doctors!
So, I started our journey in Florida going to the doctor’s office that my sister had chosen while she lived here. My sister is a military spouse so they move a lot too. Her son is between my two boys in age so we’re kind of lucky. Trouble is by the time she went and I went to the SAME office…the doctor she liked had already moved on to another office. You see a lot of the very best doctors become MOMS! They then have to take leave or adapt their practice to fit their family needs. Awesome for them…yes…for the moms who think they were great doctors for OUR kids…not so much.
Our kids in the span of three years have been to three different pediatricians. My mom is a nurse, and I’m a speech therapist. We have doctor and nurse friends, and of course I have the glorious and wild world of Facebook to spread quickly the doctor’s or offices people prefer or do not like for whatever reason. Facebook truly is a blessing and a curse in my opinion. I did not go off of Facebook for the second recommendation. I had a sweet, wise neighbor, who recommended her kids’ pediatrician to us. Trouble was it was a doctor that I didn’t really like…she stared at her tablet more than us. We WAITED FOREVER in the exam rooms EVERY time we went. Not easy when there is literally nothing to do in those rooms except fret that your child will contract some other illness…fall of the exam table…spin themselves silly on the doctor stool or read the terrible books/magazines that are on the shelf. Oh, and I totally let our boys rip that dang paper to shreds or write on it etc. That pediatrician #2 also had horrible staff. The front end was curt and the back end was oblivious to the fact that we were waiting forever to see the doctor.
Doctor group #3 is awesome. The doctors are incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, and their staff is superb. We get in, and we get out smiling. That my friends is a gift.
Picking a Pediatrician Tips:
1. Ask other moms, but form your own opinion on whether you and your child feel comfortable with that doctor/group.
2. You know your child best. If they are not looking to you (the parent) for input, questions, etc…speak up!
3. Don’t be afraid to change pediatricians. It is a hassle, but once you sign for record release it is an okay process.
4. Be open to trying different doctor’s within the same practice. I have found sometimes when you take the first available appointment with any doc…your sick child and you can be blessed with the gift of a new person whom you really like!
5. It is helpful to have a pediatrician who offers referrals to specialists as needed, and for us that has led to consults with an early intervention team, an audiologist, an ENT, a GI doc, a nutritionist, occupational therapist, and speech therapist.
6. Pick an office that offers walk in hours; time for you to visit without an appointment if you have a sick child.
7. Go to the doctor that makes you and your child comfortable.
p.s. Do take silly selfies (see above) or photos of your kids while you wait. Making the doctor memorable for yourself. In all honesty your child won’t remember their pediatrician…but they will remember their parents!