Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Navigate Life Texas: Resources for kids with disabilities and special needs

Finding a New Doctor

11/20/2017 | Published by: Kelly Mastin

My daughter recently aged out of her pediatrician’s office that she’s been going to since she was an infant. I was faced with having to find a new doctor for her.

Finding a new doctor is such an important issue. It’s difficult to decide on the person who is going to be ultimately responsible for your child’s well-being.

Here are the steps I took in finding a new doctor.

I began my search by asking friends and family for recommendations:

  • Do you have a doctor you like? What do you like about them?
  • Where are they located?
  • How would you describe the doctor: conservative or always looking for a procedure to do?
  • How do they relate to your child with a disability?
  • Do they talk to your child with a disability or do they only address the parent?
  • Does the doctor listen to you? Do they listen to your child?
  • How difficult is it to get an appointment with the doctor?
  • Is the office open on the weekends?

I also had to narrow it down by location. I am certainly willing to drive for a good doctor. Some of my children’s doctors are 20-30 minutes away. But much further than that is a little unreasonable in our area.

Next, I had to determine if the doctor takes my daughter’s insurance and her Medicaid. I can usually take care of this with a simple phone call to the doctor’s office staff. Occasionally, I may need to contact my insurance to learn the answer.

Once I determined a doctor I’d like to check out, I made an appointment for my daughter. At this initial appointment, I could determine if I liked the doctor, the staff, and the office, and I could observe whether my daughter was comfortable there. I explored the size of the exam rooms and whether they were large enough to accommodate a wheelchair.

If that initial appointment was successful, then I could continue setting up this doctor as my daughter’s primary care doctor. I requested records from her former pediatrician if needed.

Thankfully the process of finding a new doctor was fairly simple for us. We quickly found one that we like.

However, if at any time something makes me change my mind about this doctor caring for my child, I can begin this process again to find a different physician. But it is helpful to be able to receive care at one clinic, and with one doctor, for as long as possible. There’s something to be said for continuity, familiarity, and establishment. Besides, since my daughter doesn’t do change well, I’m hoping to be able to keep this new doctor for many years to come!

Find valuable and informative information in both the Medical Transition section and the Medical Home section of this website.

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