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Pediatrician checking baby's ears

What to Consider When Choosing a Pediatrician

By Dr. Michele Wadsworth, Premier Pediatrics

Choosing the right physician to care for your child is an important part of preparing to welcome a new baby into your family. Babies and children are not simply small adults - their healthcare needs are very different. It’s important to find someone who is trained to provide the specialized care your child will need, and who makes you feel comfortable and supported as a parent.

Families differ when it comes to what matters most when choosing a pediatrician, but here are some things to consider as you make your decision.

  • What training does the provider have? Is he/she a board-certified pediatrician?
  • Is the pediatrician's office located near your home or work? Are the office hours convenient to your schedule?
  • What do you do if your child is sick or injured when the office is closed?
  • Is the doctor in a group practice with other physicians? Will you see the same physician each time you visit?
  • Is the practice accepting new patients? Do they take your insurance?
  • How are visits for illnesses handled? Are you able to make an appointment on short notice if your child needs to see the pediatrician because of a sore throat, fever or earache?
  • Does the doctor communicate clearly and make an effort to ensure that all your questions are answered?
  • Is the office staff friendly, courteous and helpful?
  • If your child ever develops a condition that requires the care of specialists, will your pediatrician coordinate care among all the doctors providing treatment?
  • Most importantly, are you comfortable with the doctor's style and philosophy of care? Your pediatrician will be your partner and advisor in the care of your new baby. You should feel that you can ask anything and your concerns will be handled with respect and compassion.

The process of selecting a pediatrician isn’t difficult, but it’s a good idea to start early so you can take your time and make the best decision for your family. Many pediatric practices offer free visits, or special events, for parents to tour the office, meet providers and staff, and ask questions.

Attending events for new and expectant parents is also a good way to meet providers in your community, learn new things and ask questions. The upcoming Birth and Beyond Baby Fair, taking place Saturday, September 16, at Pembroke Mall in Virginia Beach, will give parents the opportunity to talk one-on-one with CHKD pediatricians and other experts about bringing baby home, sleep safety, immunizations, car seat safety, breastfeeding and much more. Vendors will offer giveaways, products and services of interest to new parents. Admission is FREE, with goodie bags for the first 400 attendees.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.