Not long after our baby was born at Medical City Dallas, we moved. So, after choosing a pediatrician just a few months prior, we had to go on the hunt for a new one sooner than we ever expected or hoped! Our move hit right about the time our daughter was due for her second set of vaccinations, so our family made the decision to delay them until our new medical insurance began, which was about 30 days after we moved. Thankfully, this gave us plenty of time to look for a new pediatrician.
Qualities I was looking for in a pediatrician.
I really enjoyed our first pediatrician and was hoping to find someone whose personality and approach to care were similar. My top priorities in a pediatrician included:
- Someone who took our health insurance (of course)
- Distance to our home
- Communication tools outside of appointments
The search for the right pediatrician began.
First, I asked local friends and family whom they would recommend. Then I did what I said I would never do — but I assume almost every mom does — I polled Facebook. Let me tell you, I do think there are times when parents ask things on Facebook that I would never want anyone other than my doctors' advice on, but in this instance they really pulled through for me! Within 30 minutes several people in my area had suggestions for me.
After compiling those names, I took to trusty Google to see where they were located in my city, which eliminated some of the suggestions immediately. Next, I visited the remaining practitioner's websites or Facebook pages to do some sleuthing. I used what was available to me to my advantage, but also knew to take it with a grain of salt, recognizing that it is often unhappy patients who leave negative reviews which may not represent the practice in its entirety. So I read all the reviews, watched videos, looked at their websites — anything that was available!
The choice became clear. And not written in stone.
I chose my pediatrician for all the reasons I listed above, but it was her video that pushed her to the top. It gave me a sense of her personality and approach without ever stepping into her office. I was able to gain insight into who she was and why she would be the best to care for my little one. I also thought, if I make this initial appointment and don't like her, we can always look elsewhere. There is no commitment to staying with a doctor for the long haul if you have a poor experience, whether it's the first or fiftieth appointment.
I took the plunge and called her office to make an appointment and get my daughter added into their online patient system. This system also allows me to communicate with the doctor and other medical staff during and after office hours through an online messaging system, which is something I was hoping to find since it seems like kids just know when the office is closed and wait until then to come down with something! (Note: This is where an online doctor option — such as Medical City Virtual Care — can be really handy, too: It offers 24/7/365 access to medical treatment and prescriptions from any smartphone or computer.)
I also called our former pediatrician's office and had my daughter's records transferred to the new office so they could be referenced by the doctor before and during the initial appointment.
Our first visit went well, and I enjoyed not only our pediatrician, but her staff and the office itself. The doctor took the time to get to know my daughter and understand her health history. She also made sure to involve me in the decision making, realizing that parenting and healthcare isn't one size fits all, which I really like.
All in all, we are incredibly happy with our choice, but had we not been, I would have continued to look for a healthcare provider until I found that connection with someone. I would encourage all parents to do the same to insure that not only your child is cared for, but so are you!
Susan is a wife and first-time mom. She enjoys Netflix, DIY projects and podcasts. Follow her as she navigates the uncharted waters of motherhood and all that comes with it.