Kids get sick. It’s a given. Their immune systems haven’t had the same amount of exposure to bacteria, viruses and fungi as those of adults, and children tend to be extremely messy and curious about the world around them to boot. Every parent has a story about their toddler eating dirt, snails or anything that might make the imagination recoil in disgust. As a result, children are far more prone to illness than adults, and without proper pediatric care a mild bout of sickness can become something much worse.
A pediatric doctor, or pediatrician, is a doctor who specializes in working with children and childhood disease. Pediatrics is the specific medical discipline pertaining to the diagnosis and treatment of children, and should not be confused with podiatry, the discipline which pertains to feet. A podiatrist might be able to help your child to improve their posture or diagnose a broken toe, but for the needs of childhood illness a specialist pediatric doctor is the best possible choice for your child.
Accreditation and Awards
The unfortunate truth is that doctors, like any group of professionals, vary widely in their quality and knowledge. Although doctors must pass rigorous exams and receive a college education in order to practice medicine, the difference between a good pediatric doctor and a great pediatric doctor can really mean life or death for a sick child. Even doctors servicing affluent communities, such as a pediatric doctor in Carlsbad, need to be accredited.
Finding the Doctor You Need
Although the prospect of finding a good pediatric doctor for your child can be daunting, medical groups and associations exist to aid you in the process of finding the right doctor for your family. Medical groups worth your time will have an online presence and an easily accessible “find a doctor” tool to enable you to specify search terms (such as a particular illness or area of medicine) and look for doctors in your area who can best suit your needs. Pediatrics, being a fairly broad discipline, has numerous sub-specialty areas and a “find a doctor” search tool will allow you to navigate these with relative ease. The group should be accredited by The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) or a similar organization who set the industry standard for health care. Great medical groups offer same-day appointment services as well as after-hours doctors able to take care of your child. After all, there are no office hours for tummy aches and broken bones, and no convenient time for a child to fall ill or get injured. A must for medical groups is a close, positive working relationship with local hospitals in your area. This relationship provides ease of access to your child’s medical records as well as those of your family, and these should be available at all hours.
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