Tips for choosing a pediatrician

NORTH ALABAMA (WAFF) - Little Zoey is just a month old for this visit to her pediatrician. Her mom, Meghan Cockrell, said there were certain things she expected from her doctor of choice. "I was looking for somebody that is like gentle and care about the babies and not rough with them and somebody that knows what they're doing of course."

Meghan said this particular physician is at the top of her "trust meter."

"I like Dr. Young-King cause she was my doctor and she was always nice and she would always be informative...let us know what was going on," said Cockrell.

Dr. Me'lissa Young-King said it's a relationship that can last for 18 or 21 years. She said you should ask questions. "If that pediatrician has 'after hours,' whether the pediatrician has their particular insurance, managed care."

Young-King advises if you have a special needs child, make sure the doctor is equipped to handle them. "Are there same day appointments that may be available? Is there an answering service? Is there a direct contact on the phone with an individual that's as opposed to an answering machine giving directives."

It's also important for you to do some homework on your own. Check with friends and family and see who they recommend.

Hospital privileges are also important.  "It's important to know what hospitals your pediatrician may be affiliated with also the distance and the convenience," added Young-King.

That doctor should have a good working relationship with and be able to refer your child to a specialist.

Young-King said the pediatrician is the gatekeeper for the health care of that child. "But also with the staff. How well does that staff communicate with the child and also with the parent?But first and for most we're first for the child, then for the parent. So it's somewhat of a marriage and you get the in-laws too."

Relationships which form the basis for your child's good health.

You can check out some information about physicians through the state licensure commission at this site:

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