Picking Your Pediatrician: The How To’s

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Your relationship with your pediatrician is a BIG DEAL. Not only are they going to have YOUR back through this whole parenting thing, but they are going to make sure that your little ones are the happiest and healthiest. In fact, a family’s relationship with their pediatrician is probably one of the most important they will have during their child’s life. And it’s easy to forget that this relationship will continue (in some cases) up to 21 years.

Legal. Drinking. Age. Try that one on for size.

So, I asked Dr. Chad Rudnick of Boca VIPediatrics to guide me (and MBMoms-to-be out there) on the HOW TO’s of picking a pediatrician. Here’s what he had to say…

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As a MBMom-to-be…or veteran mommy for that matter, what should I always consider before choosing my family’s pediatrician?

First and foremost, it’s imperative to choose a pediatrician that you feel comfortable with. You want a health advocate for your child that is going to listen and trust your “mommy instinct” above all else. After all, YOU know your child best!

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and your pediatrician should be your trusted “go-to” whenever you have a concern or question. You should be comfortable asking as many questions as you have, and making sure that their personality matches up to your communication style.

How do you reach this person if you have a question or a concern? Do they take the time to explain things in detail, or are they abrupt?  You want someone who truly knows you and your child – someone who you can trust and recognizes your family as more than just a chart.

You can get a good idea about a pediatrician’s style when you first enter the office. How long are the waits for sick visits or well visits? Is the staff friendly? How long does the doctor spend chatting with you?

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I’ve had probably 2-3 pediatricians since my daughter was born and I was completely clueless in that “first” pre-baby pediatrician interview. (“Mommy Brain” kicked in early, what can I say?) What are the Top 3 questions moms should ask when interviewing potential pediatricians?

The biggest one is truly what our entire practice is built upon:

  1. “How can I & how soon can Ireach my child’sdoctor?” When your child is in discomfort or pain, every moment feels like an eternity. That I know just from being a dad. You’ll want to be able to be able to reach your child’s own pediatrician when you need them the most.
  2. What happens when my child gets sick in the middle of the night? The truth is, kids don’t get sick Monday-Friday between 9-5pm. If you’re a parent, you now know that almost always, children get the sickest late at night.

Fun Fact: There are actually scientific reasons behind why symptoms worsen at night.

Who can you call, and more importantly, can you be seen by your doctor so that treatment can be started right away, if needed?

  1. How do I know when to bring my child in for a sick visit? Sounds like an easy one, right? You suspect it’s just a normal cough, so why take a day off of work or take your child out of school if it’s nothing? On the other hand, why take the risk of guessing? Your child’s best health comes from an open line of communication between a parent and the pediatrician. You’ll want to make sure your doctor is available for quick questions by phone, text, or email to listen to your concern or question, and respond with a plan of action if needed.
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Okay, it’s true…I love “pediatric perks!” Tell us a little bit about the perks your Boca VIP’s receive vs. a traditional pediatrics office?

Our office is truly the wave of the future in pediatrics, because we believe in the most personalized, accessible, and convenient pediatric care. Here is a sample of our pediatric perks:

  • 24/7 access to call, text, email, or “virtual visit” directly to my cell phone. That means parents can text questions with pictures or videos of things like rashes, coughs, etc, and get an answer back instantly, saving a trip to the office in many cases.

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  • House calls for urgent after-hours visits, and for baby’s first newborn exam once they leave the hospital. The house calls have saved many families from having to go to an ER or urgent care after-hours. The newborn house call allows me to really spend time getting to know a family and going over sleeping, eating, safety, and any questions in the comfort of your own home (and I know what a pain it can be taking a newborn to the doctor just days after your delivery!).

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  • No Waits at the Office. We schedule just one family per time slot, so they essentially have the place to themselves in most cases. This also means there is no unnecessary exposure to waiting room germs.

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  • Longer/un-hurried visits. I’m always available to my patients and believe there is no time stamp on great care. I like to be as thorough as possible to ensure that my VIPs get the best treatment plan possible, and parents ask as many questions as they need.
  • The Most Personalized Care. Each of our VIPs fills out a VIP preference form, so we know you and your child’s favorite beverages, cartoon characters, healthy snacks, and more so we can personalize your experience to make your visit more comfortable.
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  • “The Nicest Staff in Town” guarantee. With our Disney hospitality trained staff, we offer simply “the nicest staff in town,” guaranteed! We not only know each VIP and family member by name, but we know the dog, the cat, and the goldfish too!

You must LIVE in your office, Dr. Rudnick!

I know what you’re thinking. “There is just no way he can really be available 24/7…it just sounds too good to be true.” We get that comment all the time from prospective families.

Because of our extremely limited patient base, I only see a fraction of the patients that a traditional pediatrician would see each day. Because of the virtual visit aspect of the practice, I can treat patients remotely in many cases, saving them a visit to the office. That means that even on my busiest day, I am only treating a very small number of VIPs in the office because I keep my practice extremely limited.

Pediatrics is not only my career, but also my hobby and passion. The best part about my job is the time balance; I get to spend the time needed taking the best care of my patients, and get the time to spend being with my own family!

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Sponsored: This post was sponsored by Boca VIPediatrics. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor.  Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information.