Choosing the Right Pediatrician in New York
Finding the right doctor for your kids can be tricky, but it’s worth a careful search.
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Emily Skeen, a pediatric nurse in New York City, says it’s also important to examine the doctor’s practice. “Do they return phone calls? Can you make an appointment easily? Is there a medical professional available after hours?” Some other questions to ask: How long is the wait? Will your child see the same pediatrician for all visits? And because COVID-19 is spreading: Is there a separate waiting area for sick children?
Don’t let COVID-19 deter a doctor visit.
It might seem easier and safer to put off a pediatrician visit right now, but despite current coronavirus concerns, parents should not hesitate to bring their young ones to a doctor’s office—especially for annual checkups and immunizations, according to Kevin A. Slavin, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease specialist with Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health.
Another reason not to miss a doctor’s visit this year: the flu shot, if you’re opting to get your children vaccinated. Plus, because flu and COVID-19 symptoms are so similar, a visit might be the only way to diagnose your child.
In addition to taking all precautions, including wearing masks and sanitizing hands, make sure you ask the office what safety procedures are in place. For example, can you wait outside or in the car before your appointment? Does the doctor offer telehealth services for times when in-person visits aren’t required?
What if the pediatrician ends up not being a good fit?
Caregivers have the right to switch providers at any point if they feel uncomfortable. If there is a specific issue that can be addressed, try giving some feedback first and see if things improve. If you feel dismissed or uneasy, then find another pediatrician.
Even after a provider is selected, keep an eye on how the doctor interacts with you and your children. Is he patient with the kids? Do you feel rushed through visits? If your children express feeling uncomfortable or not wanting to see a certain doctor, look into finding someone your kids feel more at ease with.
The rigorous process of finding the ideal pediatrician is worth it. The right doctor can be a lifelong asset to you and your kids throughout their young lives.