When people think of medical malpractice, they often picture adults. The truth is that children can be the victim of medical malpractice just as easily, and the first line of defense is to find a great pediatrician.
Finding a pediatrician you can trust for your little one is sometimes easier said than done. This is especially the case for your first child. Chances are you haven’t had the need to vet any doctors for children. This can lead to a feeling of anxiety when it comes time to find a medical professional to provide care for your child. Here are some tips for locating the doctor who is right for you and for your new bundle of joy.
When to Look
The best time to start looking for a pediatrician is actually when you are still pregnant. Begin your search by the time you hit 28 weeks pregnant to be sure that you have an adequate amount of time to choose the right professional. It may seem like a daunting task, but realize that you aren’t looking for the number one pediatrician in the United States – you are simply looking for the one that is number one for you.
How to Research Doctors
All doctors are not right for all people. Start collecting names of doctors from friends, family and even coworkers. Take a look at the list of approved pediatrician’s from your insurance carrier. Doing these things should give you a great starting point.
After you have gotten a good list of names put together, start looking for their offices. You will want to choose one that is fairly close to your home. When your child is sick, you don’t want to have to drive an hour to the office. You will also want to look to see which hospitals the doctors are affiliated with. A doctor who is close but affiliated with a hospital hours away will prove inconvenient in the long run.
Meet the Doctors
Once you have created a short list of the pediatricians you are interested in, visit them face-to-face. Pediatricians are used to these “interviews,” and most are happy to schedule them. Some will charge for these meetings and some won’t, so be sure to ask about any charges associated with a meet and greet.
When you meet the doctors, ask questions that are relevant to you. If you’ve done a good amount of research, you will have discovered dozens of questions that people suggest you ask. Not all of these will matter to you so don’t waste your time discussing them. For example, breastfeeding may be an important topic to you, but do you really care where the doctor went to school?
Do You Click?
You need to establish a trusting relationship with the doctor which means that you have to get along. If you don’t “click” with a doctor, check them off of your list and look for another. It may be important to you that the doctor have children of their own. Maybe you are looking for a sweet, grandmotherly type. Maybe you want a doctor who is fairly fresh out of school and full of new ideas. No matter what you are looking for, find a doctor you can click with.
Take a Look at the Office
The doctor isn’t the only person you will be dealing with. Sit in the waiting room for a while and watch the staff. Do they get along with one another? Do they appear to be working efficiently? Pay attention to how long people are waiting for their appointments and how they are being treated while they wait. If there is something that doesn’t sit right with you, continue moving down your list.
When The Doctor Isn’t What You Thought
Keep in mind that you aren’t married to your pediatrician. Even if you make all the right moves and ask all the right questions, the doctor may surprise you by not being a good fit once they actually begin seeing your child. If you find this to be the case, move on. You are free to find a new pediatrician at any point during your relationship. You do not have to give the doctor a reason for terminating your relationship unless you feel like it would be helpful to them or their practice.
Finding a pediatrician you can live with isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Ask your friends and family for their suggestions and start from there. You will find a great doctor for your little one before you know it.
If your child is harmed or injured due to a doctor’s negligence or error, you have rights. Call our office today for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your case and advise you of your legal options. You can also browse our website to discover more about our firm and the types of cases we handle.