Top 5 Tips To Get The Most From Your Pediatrician Visits


AAs a pediatrician for many many years, there are a few things I’ve seen that can make for a more effective visit – I want to share these with you!


  1. Be prepared! I love when patients come with a list of questions or concerns. Write them down because often you will forget. Keep a running list on your phone or in a notebook between appointments. If you are asked to fill out any questionnaires, try to do so before coming to the visit. All of this will make the visit more efficient.
  2. Share! In addition to getting information, you should be giving information. Since your last visit, has your child been to a specialist or had an injury/hospitalization? Is your child on any new medications or have there been changes in dosing? If you want to discuss a concern without your child present, please tell the staff before so we can meet with you a few minutes before the visit in another room. Also, don’t wait – start with your most important concern. This way, I will be able to look for information regarding your concern during the physical exam.
  3. Be present! Check-ups are important visits and you need to avoid distractions. If possible, try to bring only the child scheduled for the appointment. If that is not possible, I often ask parents if I can send siblings out to color or talk with nursing staff. When you are actively engaged, you will get more out of the visit.
  4. Prepare! Before the visit, discuss what will happen with your child. In our office, we want all patients to be undressed to their underwear and in gowns – it allows for a thorough exam. Let them know this may be the case. Do not tell them that shots won’t hurt , and please do not say, “If you do not behave, the doctor will give you a shot. ” That can undermine the relationship between the doctor and your child.
  5. Shhh! As soon as possible, let your child communicate. As soon as a child can communicate, I like to talk to them, so do not jump in and answer questions for them. Not only am I learning about them; I am also listening for any language difficulties, temperament issues like shyness or anxiety, and also any concerns they may have themselves. I learn a lot from speaking with the child directly.

After the check-up is over, check in with yourself about how you feel. Never leave a visit confused. Ask for clarification. Write down specific advice. And always know you can call back if you need to double check. Together we can make your visit a success!



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