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What are some tips for finding a pediatrician?

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Quick Answer

Find a pediatrician by soliciting recommendations from friends or health professionals, checking different pediatricians’ credentials and interviewing doctors. A relationship with a pediatrician lasts throughout childhood, so it’s important for parents to find the right doctor.

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What are some tips for finding a pediatrician?
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Full Answer

Parents can typically find recommendations for a pediatrician by asking friends or family members. A trusted heath care professional can often recommend a good pediatrician as well. Books such as the American Academy of Pediatrics’ “Caring for Your Baby” and Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons’ “The Mother’s Almanac” also offer pediatrician recommendations.

Parents should be sure to check a pediatrician’s credentials before beginning a relationship with the doctor. Pediatricians should have at least three years' residency in a pediatric or family medicine program. Ideally, a pediatrician will also have passed the AAP’s board certification test. There are good pediatricians who are not board-certified, but certification indicates a comprehensive knowledge base and familiarity with current medical developments and issues.

Before beginning a relationship with a pediatrician, parents should meet the doctor in person and ask questions. Discussing the pediatrician’s medical specialization, availability and standard practices are all useful to learn more about the doctor. Gauging a child’s reaction to a pediatrician is also important. Ultimately, parents must choose a pediatrician with whom they feel comfortable, and not be afraid to change doctors if problems arise.

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