A paediatrician is part of a child's ecosystem. Due to the vital role they play, parents must select one carefully. To locate a paediatrician, ask for referrals from parents in Parentree groups, check out the reviews in Parentree or ask your friends. Here are some tips on what you should expect from your paediatrician besides having the right medical qualifications.
You are the caregiver who spends the most time with your child and therefore you know what normal and abnormal are. The paediatrician must exhibit a tendency to listen to your description of what is "abnormal". They must include this as one of the inputs into their diagnosis.
Of course, parents tend to magnify even the smallest deviations from normalcy and often feel that the doctor is not listening to them. But imagine what would happen if the doctor used only your inputs to make a decision. You may feel emotionally satisfied but your child may not be safe.
Your paediatrician must explain to you the child's illness and treatment. They should be able to detail out the possible sources of illness, the consequences, the cures (including various options) etc., If there are multiple treatment options, they must be willing to analyse the pros and cons with you and then make a recommendation. A paediatrician who outlines various options and then recommends one based on logical reasons is worth their weight in gold.
Often, we run into doctors who have a "take it or leave it" arrogant attitude. While this is something they may feel entitled to given their experience and training, a good doctor never succumbs to this. Parents these days are very knowledgeable about children, their development and health. You should not leave the doctor's office with more questions than you entered with.
A good paediatrician will give you and your child the proper time and attention. If the doctor's office functions as an assembly line where everyone spends five minutes with the doctor to get a quick prescription and if there is always a large crowd waiting, it may not be the right fit for you. A good paediatrician understands that parents are most worried about children's problems and is willing to give them a good experience when visiting the doctor. This will help put your mind at rest.
Often a lot of us tend to visit the most experienced and popular pediatrician but this may result in significant waiting times and less time with the doctor. Parents who want more time and attention may be better off finding a god paediatrician who's waiting room is less crowded.
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