Choosing A Family Doctor

Going to the doctor — it’s something no kid looks forward to! However, the experience can be less stressful if you’ve got the right doctor. So what should you look for in a family physician?

Like any mom, Kay wants the best for her kids — especially when it comes to their health. She sets high standards for her family’s doctor. “Very knowledgeable, very confident, very nurturing. Those are the qualities that I like,” she says.

Her kids have slightly different priorities. Five-year-old Dustin says, “You get prizes if you get shots.”

So what should you look for in a family physician? Dr. Lauzardo advises parents to find someone who’s not only board certified, but also loves kids. “I never wear my white coat because I think a lot of kids get scared off by that,” says Dr. Lauzardo, a family physician. “I try to have different toys in the office that I can use to interact with kids.”

A thorough checkup should be more than just a medical exam. The doctor should talk with you and your child.

“Talking a lot to the parents about their developmental milestones, what sorts of things are they doing, how is their vocabulary progressing, what about their motor skills?”

If you’re new in town, call the local medical society or area hospitals. Many have referral services. Or ask your co-workers and neighbors who they use.

“We were really lucky because we have a physician that lives on our cul-de-sac,” says Kay.

And don’t be afraid to switch doctors. According to Dr. Lauzardo, “Most physicians would understand that you need to feel comfortable.”

Choosing between a pediatrician and a family doctor is a matter of personal preference. One advantage? A family doctor knows your history, too, and can be on alert for certain hereditary disorders in your children.

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