How to Choose The Best Pediatrician for Your Family
My parents taught me about the importance of maintaining your physical health early on in my life. They chose our medical providers with care, stayed on top of our routinely-scheduled appointments, and proactively sought medical care and guidance as new issues arose. Their dedication to wellness throughout my childhood helped me develop a healthy relationship with my medical providers and allowed me to feel at ease at medical appointments. Having an established medical team helped our family stay in good physical health and gave us a safety net when emergency medical conditions popped up throughout the years. I didn’t understand the significance of their efforts as a child, but now that I’m a parent myself, I’m so grateful and hope to continue the tradition with my own children.
How to Find The Best Pediatrician for Your FamilyAs the mother of two beautiful girls, it’s my #1 priority to help my children maintain their physical and emotional health. For me, the first step towards achieving that goal was finding a great pediatrician to help my girls build a solid foundation of health. I know first-hand how overwhelming it can seem to choose the right medical team for your family, so today I’m sharing our experience to hopefully simplify your experience. Keep reading to learn how to find the right pediatrician for your family and learn more about our experience with AdventHealth Medical Group Pediatrics!
When Is The Right Time to Look for a Pediatrician?As soon as possible. If you’re pregnant, I would highly suggest selecting a pediatrician BEFORE you head to the hospital to deliver your baby. While your hospital will have pediatricians available to you, it’s nice to have your specifically-selected provider treat your child from the very beginning. In some cases, your pediatrician may even be able to do an exam on your baby while you’re still in the hospital.
When I delivered Luna at AdventHealth for Women Orlando (you can read her birth story here), our care team was able to schedule an in-hospital appointment with Dr. Alber from AdventHealth Medical Group Pediatrics before our stay ended and even set up Luna’s one-week-old follow-up visit appointment. While I’m sure the on-call pediatrician would’ve been wonderful, it was really nice to have a smooth transition from in-hospital care to in-office care. As we have more children, it will also be nice to see a familiar face in the hospital and be able to seek medical advice for our babies from a pediatrician we know and trust. In hospital, they’ll check to make sure your baby is ready to go home and are able to counsel you on proper newborn care and how to create safe and happy newborn visits with your loved ones.
If you already have children, I’d recommend looking for a pediatrician before your insurance for the next year goes into effect to ensure you have time to verify coverage, visit the practice, and schedule your children’s checkups in advance. While we’d never wish for our children to get sick, it’s always best to have care in place BEFORE something unfortunate happens. For example, Summer had to be hospitalized with an infection when she was less than three months old, and I’m so happy we had a medical team to seek guidance and support in place before she became ill. We were able to get her treated quickly because we already had a medical care system in place. You don’t want to be scrambling to find a doctor when your child gets sick!
How We Found Our Pediatrician in OrlandoWhen my husband and I chose to switch to the AdventHealth medical system late last year, we knew we needed to start searching for a good pediatric medicine practice before our new medical coverage went into effect. I spoke with every mom I knew, scoured the internet, and asked friends on social media for recommendations. Early on, I realized there was a clear winner. AdventHealth Medical Group Pediatrics was the most-recommended practice, and I heard nothing but glowing reviews about their doctors.
We’ve loved our experience at AdventHealth Medical Group Pediatrics over the past year with both Summer and Luna, and my husband and I have been so impressed with the knowledge, compassion, and bedside manner from all four doctors who’ve treated our children. I have nothing but great things to say about Dr. Chong, Dr. Alber, Dr. Norden, and Dr. Roque!
In addition to the high-quality medical team, we love that AdventHealth Medical Group Pediatrics offers appointments at a variety of locations throughout central Florida. We have three locations that are nearly equidistant to our home, so it’s been a breeze to schedule appointments for both of our children. There are even more locations available (see full list here), and you can also call AdventHealth’s Women’s Health Navigator team to get assistance in finding a pediatrician for your family at 407-720-5171.
How to Choose The Right Pediatrician for Your Family
When you’re starting your search for a pediatrician, here are a few factors to keep in mind:
1. Choose a practice with a good reputation in your community. I’d always recommend starting your search by asking for recommendations from people you trust. I guarantee you that parents in your community with have passionate opinions about their children’s medical care, so you’re guaranteed to get useful insights into recommended practices.
2. Look for a pediatric medicine practice with locations convenient to your home and/or work. While your children will have regularly-scheduled well checks throughout the year, most sick visits pop up out of nowhere. It’s important to have quick access to your child’s doctor in case of illness, and a convenient location will also help make regular appointments quicker and easier to fit into your schedule. I also personally prefer practices with multiple locations. I love that AdventHealth Medical Group Pediatrics has a network of locations throughout our area, so there’s always an appointment with a pediatrician available near us.
3. Schedule a meet and greet with your preferred practice. If you find a practice of pediatricians you’d like to use, call their office to schedule a meet and greet appointment. Many doctors will provide this service to help new parents feel comfortable and learn more about the practice.
4. Call the office to observe their customer service and on-call services. When you’re making a call to your desired pediatrician’s office to schedule an initial appointment or meet and greet, pay attention to the wait time, ease of scheduling, and overall level of customer service. I’m continually impressed when I call the AdventHealth Medical Group Pediatrics office. I’m able to speak to a human to schedule an appointment quickly and easily, and the nurse on call is almost always available immediately and answers my questions and concerns with knowledge, respect, and good humor. I also love that they have an after hours doctor on call, so when your child inevitably gets sick in the middle of the night, you don’t have to wait until the morning to seek an educated opinion on when and how to seek care for their condition.
5. Choose a doctor you respect with a similar communication style. At the end of the day, my husband and I want our daughters to have doctors who have great training and excellent clinical skills. We just want them to have good care when they need it. With that being said, I think it’s also important to choose a doctor or practice of doctors who have a personality/tone/vibe that fits with your family’s personality. I truly believe all of our doctors have our children’s best interest at heart, but different parents have different ways of absorbing information.
You might want a pediatrician who gives more or less direct advice, communicates in a way that you understand, and who offers medical advice that you respect. If you have specific things you’re looking for, be sure to clearly communicate your desires with your doctor at each appointment.
At the end of day, choosing a practice with doctors you trust, convenient locations, and great customer service will help you develop a great relationship with your pediatrician and help keep your family healthy. Our pediatricians have helped us navigate through breastfeeding, introducing solids, proper newborn care, emergency medical conditions, routine illnesses, parenting/discipline advice, and more – so it’s truly an important decision for your family!
Why You Need A Good Pediatrician When You Have A Newborn
Whether you’re a first-time parent or are expecting your second, third, or fourth child, it’s especially important to have good pediatric care to help you navigate your child’s newborn stage. Each child is different, so even if you’re a parenting pro, you’re guaranteed to have a few surprises and challenges with each new child. The first year of your child’s life is SO important for laying a solid foundation for their physical and emotional health, so it’s extremely to have medical support and guidance from a good pediatrician.
Your pediatrician can help you develop a healthy feeding, sleeping, and playtime schedule for you and baby and stay on top of any existing medical conditions or developmental issues your baby may have. There isn’t a training manual for new parents, so I highly recommend seeking your pediatrician’s advice whenever you or your partner are struggling with the baby in some way. From the very beginning, you’ll want to know everything from how and when to take your newborn baby out of the house or see friends/family to how many diapers your baby should go through each day. They see newborn babies each and every day, so believe me, they’ve heard and seen it all and can help suggest a few helpful suggestions for your issues.
While we’re so blessed to have a healthy newborn baby, I still have the normal new parent anxiety about little things that don’t seem normal. Our doctors have helped me monitor Luna’s growth to make sure we’re maintaining a healthy breastfeeding schedule (she’s gaining weight and growing like a champ) and have answered my questions on everything from how often she should be pooping (believe me- you’ll ask your pediatricians poop questions too haha) to how I should handle post-vaccine fevers in the middle of the night. Their advice has been priceless, and knowing I have solid medical advice gives me so much peace as a parent.
Where to Find A Good Pediatrician in Orlando
If you live in the central Florida area, you can contact AdventHealth’s Women’s Health Navigator team at 407-720-5171 to get assistance in finding a great pediatrician for your family. We’ve personally had a wonderful experience with the entire team at AdventHealth Medical Group Pediatrics, and you can find information on even more AdventHealth pediatricians here.
Choosing the right pediatrician for your family is the first step to help your children maintain good health, and I hope that today’s post has made the process a little easier and less intimidating for you! As parents, our #1 priority is raising healthy and happy kids, and it’s so good to know we have amazing doctors on our side. When Summer picked up a cold recently, I didn’t worry because I knew we had a fantastic medical team to consult and the ability to get great advice and medical treatment if her condition got worse. Having that peace as a parent is PRICELESS. If you have any questions about today’s post or just want to chat, feel free to leave a comment below or send me a message on Instagram at @ashleybrookenicholas. I’m an open book and always love talking to you!
More Resources for New and Expecting Parents
What to Expect During Your Labor and Delivery Stay
Tour of AdventHealth for Women Orlando
The Best Parenting and Childbirth Classes to Take During Your Pregnancy
Luna’s Birth Story: A Positive VBAC Story + My Experience at AdventHealth for Women Orlando
What To Pack in Your Hospital Bag for Your Labor and Delivery Stay
VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-Section) Q&A with a Board-Certified OB-GYN