Attend our upcoming Finding Dr. Right Event. You'll have the chance to meet with several area pediatricians to get a feel for their practice philosophies, personalities and special interests. It's the perfect way to help choose the right doctor for your child. For more information on this program or for a physician referral, call 847.618.4YOU (4968).
Selecting a pediatrician is an important decision. After all, children see doctors often—for immunizations, wellness visits and the all-to-frequent coughs and colds. So, being comfortable with a caregiver is paramount for both parents and children.
According to Andrew Peters, MD, a board-certified pediatrician and chief of pediatrics at Northwest Community Hospital, choosing a pediatrician just requires a bit of planning. "First, you need to ask yourself and your partner… what a good pediatrician should be," he says. Think through what you really want in a pediatrician. A lot of people want someone who's got good listening skills, someone who's intelligent, compassionate. Sometimes people want a good sense of humor, and sometimes they want seriousness. Sit down and ask yourself what you'd like. In essence, look within yourselves. "That," Dr. Peters says, "goes a long way toward determining a good fit between family and doctor."
Next, check with friends regarding their recommendations. Then, Dr. Peters says, research the practical side of the selection process, asking yourself these questions:
Dr. Peters says the most important step is actually visiting with the doctor prior to any real need. "By interviewing the pediatrician, you can gauge a potential fit," he says. "Make an appointment to interview the doctor and bring a list of questions. Get to know the pediatrician, see the office and meet the staff. If you walk into the office and get a bad feeling, you could be saving yourself several years of potential improper care."
It may also benefit a family to research hospital Emergency Rooms in the area prior to need. For example, NCH's Pediatric ER is specially designed for children and is staffed by specialists in pediatric emergency medicine from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.