Parents often start to think about finding a good doctor as early as the last stages of pregnancy. The term pediatrician refers to any doctor who is trained in the general care of children. It usually conjures up images of brightly colored offices and red lollipops being handed out after a session.
However, not all physicians are created equal. It is important that you find the right pediatrician to provide the best possible care for your child. Referring to your obstetrician is often the best way to get referrals. These will be used to direct parents to qualified doctors. Another good place to start is the telephone book.
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It can be difficult to judge based on advertisements or referrals so you may want to limit your search to physicians who are certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. You can be sure that a physician you find is not only certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, but also have completed three years of pediatric training in residency.
They have also passed the ABP written test. You don't necessarily have to make a decision immediately. Do not be afraid to meet with multiple physicians. These informal meetings will allow you to get to know the doctor and ask important questions that could influence your decision. Ask them if they have any affiliations with hospitals in the area.
This may not matter if you live in a small community with one hospital. You should make sure that the hospital you are associated with is comfortable and close to you. It is also important to determine what their costs are, and how much they are covered by insurance.