The day has finally arrived. Finding a pediatrician after a birth injury can be an overwhelming task, as many mothers worry about further injuries to their children and themselves. Depending on the type of the birth injury, doctor visits may be frequent and expensive. Therefore, it will be important to choose a doctor who fits the needs of the child and family as a whole.
Impact of a Birth Injury When Finding a Pediatrician
Pediatricians are trained in all critical areas of a child’s life-developmentally, physically, socially and behaviorally. This includes diagnosing, managing and treating chronic and acute disorders, illnesses, and complicated health conditions.
Sometimes they will work in partnership with other providers, such as pediatric subspecialists or surgeons. Collaboration is important when a birth injury requires long-term medical care and treatment, such as cerebral palsy.
Finding a Pediatrician Checklist
The following are things to look for when finding a pediatrician after a birth injury:
- Skills – should be board certified, possibly with special training or education, and ability to care for the child’s particular medical condition.
- Type of practice – larger clinics (group practice) might offer comprehensive services, with weekend and extended hours for a birth injury doctor-whereas a smaller clinic might have limitations with hours and services yet could receive more personalized care.
- Location – important if visits could be often, keeping in mind proximity not only to home or daycare but other services that may be required such as physical therapy.
- Incentives – sometimes a pediatrician offers special incentives, such as workshops or a website that offers helpful information.
- Availability – how can the pediatrician be contacted-through phone, email, etc.-and are there certain hours it is easier to reach him or her, including if and how pediatrician can be reached after work hours (weekends and nighttime).
- Insurance/Billing – make sure health insurance is accepted by the pediatrician and find out how billing is handled (is payment due at the time of the visit), along with standard fee structure.
- Relationship – since this is going to be a long-term relationship, parent should feel comfortable with the pediatrician-this includes taking time to answer any questions or concerns, expressing genuine interest in the child, friendly and is knowledgeable about the child’s health needs.
Sometimes parents don’t know where to begin when it comes to selecting a pediatrician. Word-of-mouth is one way. By asking friends, family members or co-workers, this could help avoid making the wrong choice instead, discover one that is a perfect fit.
The hospital where the baby was born might have a recommendation. Another option is to check with the American Academy of Pediatrics for a referral.
Keep in mind that if a birth injury was caused by medical negligence, it might be a good idea to talk with an attorney. Some birth injuries will require expensive medical care that may be addressed through a claim if it’s found the OB-GYN or another healthcare provider acted in a careless or reckless manner.
The birth injury attorneys at the Becker Law Firm might be able to help. They are primarily focused on birth injury, doctors who are held responsible for medical malpractice. Finding a pediatrician may be difficult but locating birth injury attorneys need not be.