Getting the Most Out of Your Visit to the Pediatrician

I see many parents with their babies and young children. I realize that it can be an anxious time for parents as they are often concerned about the health of their children. The following tips should ensure that you get the most out of your visit.

First, get ready. Be clear about your concerns; write a list, if necessary. It's easy to forget one concern when there's a lot of conversation about another. You want all of your concerns resolved, so make a list. If you've been online and read medical information that you want your pediatrician to address, print a copy and take it with you. You can visit sites like Omega Pediatrics if you want to know more about the best pediatrician.

Next, be specific with your concerns. The pediatrician does not read minds and what may be an obvious concern to you may not be clear to anyone else. Say what worries you and why. If you've been reading about a condition and are concerned that your baby or toddler might have that condition, say so. That way, your pediatrician can specifically address your concerns

Sometimes parents are worried about a disease that is so unlikely that I don't even think to mention it, so the worry remains with the parents. When I learn of your concern, I can address it specifically by explaining why there is no need to worry, or I can arrange for further investigation if appropriate.

If you don't understand something that is said, ask. Don't be embarrassed to ask questions. Ask for a plain language explanation of what your pediatrician says, not the medical jargon version. Sometimes pediatricians use jargon without even realizing it; we don't care if a parent says he doesn't understand. Pediatricians want parents to understand what is happening to their children. Keep asking questions until you understand.

Lastly, ask for information in writing about your child's condition or what the pediatrician has said. I always send a copy of the letter that I write to the referring doctor also to the parents.