What to Consider When Selecting a Doctor
As a parent, you make countless choices that affect the health and well-being of your child. Among the most important is the selection of your child's pediatrician.
CHKD's Health Line has complete information on hundreds of the region's pediatricians and pediatric medical and surgical specialists. Through our extensive referral system, we can recommend the doctor who best meets your child's and family's needs. Whether you are new to parenting or new to the region, you can rely on our wealth of experience to help you make an educated decision. Call (757) 668-7500 or 1-800-395-2453 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When should I choose a pediatrician for my child?
Expectant parents need to select a pediatrician before their child is born; all newborns must be examined at the hospital soon after delivery. Newcomers to the area should also make finding a pediatrician a top priority - so they'll be prepared in the event of an emergency.
Should I visit the doctor's office before my child becomes a patient?
Some doctors recommend that you make an appointment for a special get-acquainted visit. Others are happy to meet for the first time during a check-up. At this early stage, it's a good idea to ask the doctor any questions you have. An ability to communicate easily with your child's doctor is extremely important.
During your initial visit, you'll want to meet the office staff as well as the doctor. The office staff will help you with scheduling appointments and answering questions regarding insurance, referrals and phone calls. Cooperating with established office procedures makes it easier for your physician's staff to take care of your child promptly.
Find out from the office staff how the practice operates. Will you speak with a nurse to obtain routine medical information? Are sick and well patients segregated while waiting to see the doctor? Will your child have a primary physician, or do several doctors share patient care responsibilities? Are there designated phone hours to speak to the doctor? How are emergencies handled during evening and weekend hours?
Is the pediatrician board-certified?
A board-certified physician has completed training in an accredited residency program and has passed national board exams in pediatrics. Some physicians are board-eligible. This usually means that they have recently completed their residencies and have not yet taken their board exams.
Does the doctor have special interests or subspecialties?
If your child has a special problem, such as asthma, diabetes, ADHD or obesity, you'll want to look for a doctor who specializes in these problems. Many of the physicians on the staff at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters practice pediatric subspecialties.
Will the pediatrician accept my insurance?
There are many different types of health insurance, so this is an important consideration. Find out what the procedure is for payment and filing insurance claims. Many offices have an employee designated to handle insurance questions.
Are the location and office hours convenient?
It can be a real time-saver to find a doctor whose office is located near your home or work place, and with so many parents working, many doctors now offer evening and weekend hours. Our physician directory lets you search by location, allowing you to find a practice that is the most convenient for you.
Where did the physician receive medical training?
You may want to know what medical school the pediatrician attended and where he or she completed residency and post-graduate training. Our online physician directory offers information about our doctors and where they trained.
Where does the physician admit patients?
Doctors often have privileges at more than one hospital. You may have a preference for where you'd like your child's surgery, lab work and other diagnostic tests done, or for hospital admission if it becomes necessary. Make sure your doctor is a member of the medical staff at that hospital. The physicians who are referred through Children's Health Line have privileges at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, the region's only referral center for pediatrics.