When the time comes to find medical care for your kids, you need a children’s doctor pediatrician. These physicians specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of childhood diseases. They also specialize in monitoring the growth and development of children. While a family practitioner can do this job, most parents prefer a specialist who understands and regularly works with kids.
There are many benefits to this type of doctor. Pediatrician specialists understand the best ways to deal with kids. They work with children on a daily basis, and they know how to relate to them and how to make medical procedures less scary. Their offices are typically more child-friendly than a general practitioner, with movies, coloring sheets, and play areas in the waiting rooms, activities in the examining rooms, and stickers or candy treats for children who behave well.
Another benefit of this type of specialist is the understanding and extra training they have as it relates to children’s health. Children do not always manifest the same symptoms as adults, even when dealing with the same disease an adult may have. Pediatric cancers often appear quite different than adult cancers, and are also treated differently.
One of the biggest benefits of choosing a pediatrician is the fact that the physician will be a specialist in child development. Developmental problems, when caught early enough to get intervention, can usually be overcome, but a general practitioner may not know exactly what to look for to spot these problems early on.
One of the best sources to go to when looking for a new physician for your children is other parents you know. They will have strong opinions about the doctors they use or have used in the past. If you have particular concerns, such as an unwillingness to vaccinate your children or a child with an ongoing medical or developmental problem, find a physician that has experience with that issue or is in agreement with your parental choices.
If you do not have relationships with other parents in your area, or have a different parenting or medical philosophy than the ones you do know, turn to medical rating sites to find information about a particular doctor. Pediatrician specialists will be listed on these sites, which rate doctors based on patient care and credentials. Be sure you understand how the site rates doctors, and never choose a physician based entirely on information you find online. Instead, use this as a starting point, and then call the office to schedule an interview and meet the practitioner. Find out if the practitioner’s philosophies match yours. If they do, and the practitioner has good ratings, you have likely found the right one for your kids.
Remember, your kids will see this medical professional until they turn 18, so take the time to find the right doctor. Pediatrician specialists will become lifetime friends and the experts you turn to when you are scared and have medical concerns for your most precious treasures – your children.