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Because childhood should be simple ...

How to choose a pediatricianHow to choose a pediatrician

Looking for a pediatrician? We can help. The following information can help you choose the one doctor who is focused on the one thing that matters most … your child.

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What is a pediatrician?

To become a pediatrician, a doctor must take special courses for three or more years after medical school. This is called a pediatric residency. To become board certified, a pediatrician must pass a written examination given by the American Board of Pediatrics. To keep current on changes in children's health care, pediatricians must recertify by taking examinations every seven years. They also must take a certain number of continuing medical education (CME) courses each year to be eligible for license renewal in the state in which they practice. These are good things to know as you begin your search. Taking these few extra steps will help you to choose a pediatrician that you and your child can develop a growing relationship with. It's like homework, in the end, you'll be much wiser.

Why choose a pediatrician as your child’s primary care doctor?

Infants and children have very different needs from adults, both physical and emotional. Unlike adults, their bodies are constantly growing and changing. Pediatricians are specially trained to prevent and manage the unique health problems of infants, children, teens, and in some cases, young adults. Pediatricians are also excellent partners for you as they help you navigate the challenges of parenthood.

Why choose a Cook Children’s pediatrician?

Cook Children’s pediatricians are not just kid friendly, they’re kid only. Whether it’s a routine checkup or something more serious, our pediatricians care for children as they grow up - from the toddler tummy bug to the 4th grade flu and up to the high school athlete’s sprained ankle, even parenting advice – we’re with you every inch of the way. 

And Cook Children’s complete network, of medical care provides a safety net for your child. We offer a growing number urgent care locations, two emergency medicine locations that are supported by our Teddy Bear Transport team, nationally recognized specialties and brilliant medical minds, and some of the most incredible medical technology available anywhere in the world. Plus a retail pharmacy and a Home Health program. And because your child’s medical history follows them, you can count on consistent care no matter where they go in our network.

No matter how big or small the need, Cook Children’s pediatricians are here to help kids grow up healthy and happy. Because we believe childhood, from birth all the way through the teen years, should be simple.

How to begin your search

One of the first things to do is determine what kind of health coverage you have. If you're in a managed health care plan, your choice of participating doctors who provide primary care for children may be limited, so be sure to check the plan's online list because paper lists can quickly become outdated.

If you have questions about whether a doctor participates in your plan or if you're interested in a doctor who isn't on the list, call your health plan directly to discuss your options. Also call if your child has any special medical needs that would require an out-of-network doctor to learn what kinds of options and limitations you may have.

Once you know the limits of your health plan, you are ready to begin compiling a list of potential pediatric candidates to interview. A great place to start is by asking friends, family and coworkers what pediatrician their children see. Find out what they like about that particular doctor and if they've ever seen other doctors within the same practice.

If there is a pediatric health care network, visit their Website to learn about their pediatricians and to see what additional services are available such as specialist, urgent or emergency care.

You can also find Cook Children's pediatricians right here. Our pediatric clinics are conveniently located across North Texas.

Interviewing potential pediatricians

The following is a list of interview questions to help you in your search for a pediatrician. You may also find that the list brings up a few questions of your own. That's a good thing. Write those down as well and take them along with you. This should help you make a good, informed choice.

For your convenience, you can download and print these guidelines and take them with you to each interview.

Questions to ask yourself during the visit:

Questions to ask yourself during the visit:

Questions for the pediatrician:

Questions to ask yourself after the visit to help you make an evaluation:

Keep track of your child's health

At Cook Children's, we believe childhood should be simple. And so should keeping track of your child's medical history and needs. Our family medical planner was created by families for families. From that very first newborn checkup, to immunizations, and even complex illnesses, our family medical planner will help you stay organized. Because after all, we think parenthood should be simple too.

At Cook Children's, we want you to have all the information you need at your fingertips. So, with the help of families, we created a family medical planner to help you keep your child's health information in one place and up to date.
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