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Part 4: Keeping Your Child Healthy  >  Choosing A Paediatrician



In days gone by, most children were looked after by the family physician. Even today, some lucky parents have a doctor whom they can rely on for most day-to-day childhood problems.

But most others need to have their children seen regularly by a paediatrician (a child specialist).

Only The Best For Your Child

Ask your family doctor to refer you to a good paediatrician ó ideally one located close to your residence. Your obstetrician is another source for reference. A close relative, friend or neighbour may also be able to refer you to a good paediatrician.

Ask other parents who go to the same doctor whether she meets these qualifications:

  • She is competent. She spends enough time with parents and children, especially on the first visit.
  • She is a good listener.
  • She does not ask for unnecessary investigations and does not prescribe too many drugs. She may even decide to try the no-medication option. 
  • She is available for emergencies or makes alternative arrangements in advance.
  • She is fond of children and treats a child as her own or as a grandchild.
  • Children seem comfortable with her.
  • She does not seem to be in the profession only for financial gain.
  • She is known to ask for or get a second opinion if required.
  • She empowers parents to manage day-to-day problems.

Help Your Doctor Help You
Go prepared when you visit the paediatrician. Provide her with the full history of your childís present illness and complaints. Be ready with the record of her past illnesses and family history, especially if you are consulting the doctor for the first time. If you are likely to forget, write down the details and hand over the same for her perusal. Put the child into loose clothing; this will help the doctor make a proper examination.

As far as possible, go by appointment to meet your paediatrician. If you need to see her the same day, be ready to wait your turn. If your child is too sick to wait, take her to the doctorís assistant in the hospital to which she is attached. The assistant can then talk to the paediatrician and decide if the child needs hospitalisation.

If this is not practical, request your paediatrician to accommodate you. If your child really needs urgent attention, she will attend to her and request another patient with a prior appointment to wait.

Even if you have a fixed appointment, do not insist on being seen on the dot. It is possible that the previous patient needs extra attention or that the doctor has to accommodate an emergency. You would like your child to receive the same consideration when she is ill.

Be silent while the doctor writes the prescription; it is crucial that she gets it right the first time. Your silence will help her focus and concentrate. 

If you have to telephone the doctor for advice, try to call her in her consulting rooms. This will allow her access to your childís records if she needs them. Before you ring your paediatricianís number, keep a paper and pencil handy.

Barring an emergency, avoid ringing the doctor at her home. Remember that she also needs time to herself.

Medication Musts
Your doctor would ideally like to examine your child before starting any drugs, especially antibiotics. Do not self medicate before talking to your paediatrician. Also, do not repeat a previous prescription without consultation even if the symptoms seem to be the same. 

Give medication at the prescribed intervals ó if you cannot, tell the doctor so, she may suggest an alternative.

Your Paediatrician And You
Treat your paediatrician with respect, but donít expect miracles from her or that your child will be made well as soon as she sees the doctor.

Also remember that doctors are human. They have their moods, they can get tired and annoyed. Look instead at your paediatricianís overall performance and be ready to forgive an occasional lapse.

7 March, 2016

Part 4
Keeping Your Child Healthy
Choosing A Paediatrician
Proper Use of Medicines
Home Remedies
A First Aid Kit
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses
Psychological Concerns
Managing A Hospital Stay
Prayer And Your Child's Health
The Role of Nature Cure
Ayurveda and Child Care
Congenital Heart Disease FAQ
Guide to Child Care
1 Pregnancy, Childbirth ...
2 The Growing Years
3 Feeding Infants, ...
4 Keeping Your Child Healthy
5 Keeping Your Child Happy
About Dr. R. K. Anand

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