8 Things Oregon Parents Need to Consider When Choosing a Pediatrician

As you’re preparing for a new little one, one of the biggest decisions you’ll make is choosing a pediatrician. Your pediatrician will be a great source of parenting advice and will help manage your baby’s medical and developmental health. How to you pick the perfect provider to fill this role?

Read the top 8 things you should consider in order to choose the right pediatrician for your family.

 

1. Location

The location of the office is an important factor to consider when choosing your baby’s doctor. You’ll be visiting the clinic frequently – especially during the first year. You don’t want to trek across town or through heavy traffic areas each time you have a well-child visit.

If convenience is especially important for your family, look for a clinic with multiple locations throughout the city. That way no matter where you are, you’ll always have the peace of mind knowing your trusted pediatric team is never too far away.

A few other location related factors to consider include:

  • Parking
  • Accessibility (elevators, sliding doors, escalators, etc.)
  • Safety

 

2. Availability

 

How easy will it be to reach your pediatrician? How quickly can they get your baby in for an appointment? What are their hours? Do they offer evening and weekend appointments?

Some practices are better than others when it comes to answering calls, connecting you with the right person, and quickly and simply scheduling you for an appointment at a time and day that’s best for you.

Here are a few ways to suss out a pediatric office’s availability:

  • Look at the office hours
  • Call and see how long it takes for someone to answer
  • See if the office has an after-hours care and emergency number
  • Find out how after-hour questions are handled
  • Learn how you make appointments
  • Ask how far in advance you need to schedule an appointment
  • Learn their policy when your primary pediatrician is on vacation or out of the office

 

3. Office visit experience

As the parent of a new baby, you’ll have a lot on your plate, so those frequent visits to the pediatrician should be a pleasant, easy experience.

Of course, a friendly, attentive staff is very important, but equally important is the visit process itself. Discover a few details about what to expect from your appointments, including:

  • Average time you’ll spend in the waiting room
  • What comfort features are provided while you wait
  • How long check up visits last
  • How long you’ll have with the doctor

An office that provides a seamless, consistent experience will help you feel confident and relaxed throughout the appointment, even if your baby is crying the entire time.

 

4. Office environment

In addition to the particulars of the office visit, you should also feel comfortable with the office space itself. When you visit the office, pay attention to how the space makes you feel.

As yourself these questions:

  • How clean is the space?
  • Is the waiting area comfortable?
  • Is the space open and inviting?
  • Is it an environment my child will enjoy as he or she ages?

Look for signs that this space was created with children in mind. Features like wall murals, a clean and tidy play area, and child-safe features are important.

 

5. Billing and insurance

If your baby is covered by insurance, make sure the pediatric office accepts your plan. You should also find out the details of their billing policy and how the office processes insurance forms.

Don’t be afraid to ask about costs. Find out the fee for some common types of appointments including well-child, sick, and after-hour visits.

Going into the relationship as informed as possible about costs will help manage expectations and ensure you aren’t surprised down the road.

 

6. Approach to care

Just like there are many approaches to parenting, there are also unique styles of pediatric care. The key is finding a pediatric office that aligns with your parenting style and will be open to your philosophy of care.

If there is a certain topic that you feel very strongly about, make sure to bring it up with the pediatrician to find out if it’s a good fit.

Take sleep training for example. Some parents want to use a “cry-it-out” approach while others want to sooth their baby to sleep. You need to know that you can talk honestly to your pediatrician and they’ll listen to and support your parenting style.

 

7. Doctor credentials

Do your due diligence and check the credentials of your doctor. The doctor should have completed training in pediatrics and be certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.

Research to learn the following information:

  • Education
  • Years of experience
  • Types of settings worked (private practice, urgent care, hospitals, etc.)
  • Any hospital affiliations
  • Languages spoken

 

8. Doctor’s personality

While it may feel superficial, your doctor’s personality and likability is very important. When you “click” with your pediatrician, you’ll feel comfortable communicating openly and honestly – the key to a successful doctor-patient relationship
Schedule a short visit to meet with and get to know the pediatrician. You’ll probably know right away whether or not it’s good fit.

 

Is Oregon Pediatrics the right choice for you and your baby?

Does our pediatric practice meet your family’s needs? As you’re considering the above 8 factors, we’d love to meet with you face-to-face for a “get to know you visit”, listen to what you’re looking for, and answer all your questions.

At Oregon Pediatrics, we’ve been providing high quality, comprehensive pediatric care to families throughout Oregon for over 25 years. Our doctors have over 60 years of combined experience and are committed to working with parents as a team to achieve the best health outcomes for our patients.

Call any one of our 4 pediatric office locations to learn more – we can’t wait to hear from you.

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