Finding the right pediatrician is like finding a soul mate, who will support you through the best and worst times of life, for a very long time. When I was a teenager, my pediatrician even treated my acne. I was embarrassed, to sit in his waiting area with children and adults wondering why I was there. Sigh!
Well, now I realize why my parents did that. When they found the perfect pediatrician, who was part of their journey in bringing up their child, gave them sound advice and patiently listened to them, I can only imagine why they didn’t trust anybody else. Like friends, they bonded over conversations about children and family.
Being first time parents, we had to see five pediatricians to finally find our match. In our earlier visits, we were confused and distressed of the different opinions, we received in treating our daughter’s acid reflux. Finally, on our big day we were listened to, consoled and transformed.
Hence, to all the parents, I wanted to share my takeaways in finding a good pediatrician:
- A good pediatrician is an active listener- They are fully present in the conversation, without having to rush or interrupt you. I know, it’s a no-brainer. But, I’ve had experiences where the doctor presumes, they know everything about the condition and don’t let you finish speaking. Therefore, we didn’t get a solution to our problem.
- Trust the vibes you get, Energy doesn’t lie– I read this quote and it resonates with every person I meet. A pediatrician is no exception. They should be warm, positive and have a genuine smile.
- A good pediatrician does not use a lot of medical jargon- They understand we are parents, anxious and we need help. Simplify medical terms and before you know it, our stress levels are down.
- A good pediatrician is aware of the overall development- Often, pediatricians are only concerned about the physical development of the child. For e.g. height/weight/head circumference. They should be asking about the child’s socio-emotional and communication development. I was impressed, when my doctor asked me for my daughter’s ten month visit, if she started pointing or following one step direction ( go to baba/give cookie).
- A good pediatrician is not quick to prescribe medicines– Yes, it is easier for parents, to get a medicine prescription and treat the condition right away. But, I trust a doctor who gives the body, a chance to heal on its own.
- A good pediatrician keeps abreast with the latest information- They are confident, calm and ready to give evidence based information on the condition. They are open to questions and are least irritable to answering them.
- My favorite closure– Is there anything else I can help you with? I appreciate people who ask this question, because it shows they care and value your concerns.
So, Good luck in finding your match!