Choosing your child’s pediatrician is an important decision as they play a crucial role in your child’s life right from when they are born until they become an adult. Since you are looking for someone who will serve as your child’s pediatrician for a significant period of time, it is crucial to take your time and find a good pediatrician that both you and your child feel comfortable with.
But how do we know if we have found the right pediatrician? David Wanderman, MD, who is a pediatrician at Stanford Children’s Health believes in establishing a relationship that is built on trust (1). Your pediatrician will be the doctor who will be treating your little ones, so it’s critical that you feel seen and heard by them.
At the same time, it is important to understand that your pediatrician may not be able to treat everything in his/her office. So, even if your doctor knows your baby’s medical history since he was a few days old, there could be times when your doctor might need to refer you to a specialist if any issue arises that is outside his/her realm of expertise. However, there are times when you might be concerned and doubtful if the pediatrician is right for your family. Below, we list down 5 signs that indicate maybe it’s time to look for a new primary care provider.
1. You Do Not Feel Heard
If your relationship with your doctor is not collaborative and you often find yourself leaving the pediatrician’s office feeling unheard and unsatisfied, it might be a good idea to look for a different one. A good pediatrician will make sure that you have all the information you need and will lay out all the options to help you make an informed decision. Though the doctor is always the expert, your doctor should be able to answer questions if you have any concerns about giving antibiotics to your little one or if you want to delay a medical procedure that would not lead to any health consequences for your child.
2. You Constantly Seek Medical Advice From Other Sources
A good doctor-patient relationship is one that is built on trust. You trust your doctor’s expertise and feel confident with their treatment. But when there is a lack of trust, you start seeking second opinions. You might talk to another doctor, ask a parent, or look for answers online. If you constantly find yourself doing any of these things, your doctor is definitely not on the list of trusted sources for health-based decisions of your child.
3. When The Office Is Inconvenient
You might not have any problems with your pediatrician, it could be the frustrating appointment-making process, slower/lack of response from the office, or even the infrastructure or facilities that fail to provide the proper care for your child. In these trying times, it is especially important that you have a doctor who is accessible or provides online consultations. It is also a problematic sign when you have previously raised your concerns and still have to deal with the same issues.
4. You Don’t Feel Comfortable Raising Your Concerns
It could be your pediatrician’s communication style. Even if you don’t immediately click with your doctor, if your doctor’s communication style doesn’t work for you, you might find it hard to trust their expertise as well. A doctor should be compassionate and understanding. If he/she makes you feel like an idiot for raising your concerns and you leave their office feeling ashamed, start looking for a new one.
5. Your Child Wants A New Doctor
If your kid wishes to switch, there could be a deeper reason behind it. Though consulting a pediatrician might not be a picnic for any child, if they constantly dread the drive to the pediatrician, it might not be such a bad idea to switch. Your child may not be digging the communication style or he might be uncomfortable with a lady doctor examining his genitals. So, even if your first child loves the pediatrician and you do too, it is worth it to find a doctor your child feels comfortable with.
However, if your usually cheerful doctor seemed curt on one of the appointments or you once left the office without getting all the answers, don’t jump to a conclusion immediately. But if your gut tells you it’s time to find a new pediatrician for your family, don’t hesitate just because he’s got a five-star review on Yelp.
If you found our article helpful, share it with your friends and family so that they too have the right primary care provider for their family.