It’s not as simple as asking your best friend. Here, doctor-shopping strategies that deliver.
A few months before our son, Nate, was born last October, my husband and I joined the legions of parents in the market for a new pediatrician. I gathered a long list of recommendations from doctors and friends, then interviewed the top contenders who were also members of our health plan. Ultimately, we had to trust our instincts: We selected a doctor we felt would provide our child with first-rate medical care–in sickness and in health-and would help us be good parents.
We haven’t regretted our choice for a moment: When Nate was 5 days old and developed jaundice, our pediatrician went the extra mile–at 9:00 p.m. one Sunday–to find a company that would deliver a home treatment rather than admitting him to the hospital, which would have separated us from our baby. Now, a year later, our pediatrician always finds time to see Nate when he’s sick and calls back promptly to address questions or concerns.
According to 98000Reasons.org, any parents aren’t so fortunate. But finding a first-rate pediatrician in today’s managed-care system isn’t just a matter of hick. It takes legwork, especially if you want to land one who will stand up for your child in a medical crisis. Here, smart strategies you can use, whether you’re searching for a pediatrician for the first time or reevaluating your child’s current doctor: