Choose the right doctor for your child
Who is the best doctor for your child? Is it the well-known pediatrician in your neighborhood? Is it the family doctor recommended by your friends and colleagues? Is it the physician with the best credentials listed in the local medical society or medical directory?
Choosing the “right” doctor for your child is a personal decision. But how you go about it, and the effort you devote to the task, may assist you in a child custody fight down the road.
One way to begin your search for the right doctor is to request a list of board-certified pediatricians from the American Academy of Pediatrics or board-certified family physicians from the American Academy of Family Physicians. As you consider the alternatives, think about how the doctors organize and administer their medical practices. Do they personally meet with your children, or have they assigned much of the day-to-day medical care to nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants? Do they maintain daytime, nighttime, and weekend hours? Who handles emergency calls in the middle of the night?
As you explore the choices, think about your child’s preferences. Does she do better will male or female doctors? Older or younger doctors? Businesslike, authoritative personalities, or physicians with a more nurturing bedside manner? Don’t wait until your child is sick, and you’re in the middle of the doctor’s waiting room to get the answers to these questions. Investigate and inquire about these issues beforehand.
If you and your ex-husband or ex-wife, do not see eye-to-eye on certain child-related issues (breast-feeding, circumcision, discipline, sleeping arrangements, etc.), you may wish to explore what your doctor thinks about these issues. If your doctors could be called as a witness in a child custody trial tomorrow, do you know whether he or she would agree or disagree with you on these controversial issues?
Of course, you will also want to ensure that the doctor you choose for your kids is covered under your insurance plan.
For children with specific medical problems, it is important to select a pediatric specialist,such as a pediatric pulmonologist (specializing in respiratory problems such as asthma). Taking the time to find such a specialist not only serves your child’s best interests, but it reflects your dedication as a parent. It will certainly reflect well on you if you end up in a child custody case.
Devoting time and effort to the selection of the “right” doctor will ensure your child’s well-being. It will also likely demonstrate the strength of your position as a custodial parent.