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Choosing a Pediatrician

How to select the right pediatrician to be your baby's doctor

 

Who is your baby's doctor?

It’s never too early to begin considering the answer to this question. Finding the right pediatrics practice is important, as you will rely on the physicians and advanced practice providers of this practice to monitor your child’s growth and development and be available to answer questions as they arise, from the first weeks with your baby at home through adolescence.

In fact, many pediatrics practices prefer to see expectant mothers before they deliver. This gives the pediatrician an opportunity to provide you with information about the practice and learn more about your expectations.

There are several important things to keep in mind when selecting a pediatrics practice for your newborn.

Location

How close is the practice to where you live? Would you be able to get there quickly should your child experience a medical emergency?

Size

How large is the pediatrics practice? Do they have multiple locations? How long does it take to get an appointment? How many providers serve in the practice? How easy is it to get a “sick child” appointment?

Nights and Weekends

Not all illnesses occur between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Does the practice provide evening or weekend hours? What arrangements has the practice made to respond to emergency calls, including nights and weekends?

Well Checks

How often does the pediatrician expect to see your baby for check-ups?

Cost

How much does an office visit cost? What about immunizations, telephone consultations or emergency visits? Can fee adjustments be made based on your family income?

Feeding

What are the pediatrician’s views on breastfeeding? Do they support your plan to breastfeed, bottle feed or both?

Jaundice

It takes time for all of a newborn’s organs to become fully-functional, and as a result many newborns experience a bit of jaundice, noted by a yellow complexion to the skin. What are the pediatrician’s preferred ways to treat jaundice in newborns?

Responses

Are the responses from the pediatrician and his or her practice thorough and thoughtful? Were you able to understand the information they provided? Did they write down important information for you to take with you? Were you comfortable with the physician you met?

Ask Around

Ask friends, neighbors and relatives in your area about the pediatricians they prefer and why.

A Doctor's Privileges

Not all pediatricians have hospital privileges. Only physicians with hospital privileges will be able to evaluate the newborn after delivery or provide care to a child who requires hospitalization.

It’s also useful to consider hospital privileges should your child need emergency care, either through a hospital emergency department or minor emergency care at an urgent care location. Ask if the practice has privileges at a nearby hospital or a relationship with an urgent care clinic that can provide after-hours and weekend care if necessary. With electronic health records in wide use, the hospital or urgent care may be able to access the child’s medical record in an emergency, including allergies and current medications if applicable

Select a Pediatrician

To view a list of pediatricians on the medical staff at Tanner, choose Find a Doctor on any Tanner Web page. You also may call Tanner’s physician referral line at 770.214.CARE for a referral to a pediatrician based on a number of criteria, including insurance and practice location.

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