Talkeetna: (907) 733-2273 ~ Willow: (907) 495-4100 ~ Wasilla: (907) 376-2273

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Choosing a Pediatrician for Your Newborn

Smiling pediatrician weighing cute baby

Hooray, you’re pregnant! The count-down to the birth of your new baby is underway. Having a pediatrician on-hand during this early formative time in your baby’s life is in both your best interests. It is a good idea, while you wait expectantly, to begin finding a pediatrician with whom you feel comfortable. Don’t wait until your child gets sick or needs a check-up to go through the selection process. These experiences can be stressful enough without adding uncertainty about an unfamiliar pediatrician to the mix.

How To Begin Your Search

Locate qualified pediatricians in your area with these sources:

  • Verify that your pediatrician is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) with four years of medical school, three years of resident training, and passed written examination. They provide pediatrician search service on-line here: https://www.abp.org/content/verification-certification
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides a database of participating members here: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/find-pediatrician/Pages/pediatrician-referral-service.aspx
  • Be aware that some health insurance plans require you to choose a pediatrician from their approved network.
  • Your obstetrician is another resource. Obstetricians and pediatricians regularly interact to oversee the care of both mother and baby. They can usually provide 2 or 3 pediatrician referrals for you to evaluate.
  • Ask other moms in your circle of friends, family, or co-workers. They may have personal experiences about specific individuals or circumstances they can share.

Vetting the Field

You want to find a doctor who aligns with your goals and expectations. It’s a good idea to meet the candidates and observe their qualifications, personality, approach, and experience before deciding. Below are a few questions to ask a prospective pediatrician:

  • What qualifications do they have? Are they certified by the ABP and/or a member of the AAP?
    If you or your family have specific health concerns, consider asking about their qualifications in those areas?
  • How can you contact them during an emergency or after hours? Are they available by phone and who covers for them if they are not available?
  • For minor questions, what is the best way to reach them?
  • Does the pediatrician interact with the children they treat and not just the parents? Do they have chemistry with kids?
  • Is the pediatrician aware of current issues or advances in pediatric care?
  • Office and Location: What are their office hours? With what hospital is he/she affiliated? Is their location conveniently close to your home or work?
  • Costs and insurance coverage: What do their services costs, co-pays and other billing practices? Do they accept your insurance plan? Which services are covered and which are not?
  • What are the routine child-care check-ups? The AAP recommends check-ups at one, two, four, six, nine, twelve, fifteen, and twenty-four months.

Finding a pediatrician that fits well with your family can be a challenge, but these are several good sources to help you in your search. Your family’s relationship with your pediatrician can be lasting and rewarding. It is worth taking time to find a pediatrician that is just right for you and your children. Evaluate them based on the criteria that are most important to you and your family.

Sunshine offers pediatric care with Dr. Natalie Cassell. For newborns to 18 years old, well-child check-ups focus on developmental milestones, safety, nutrition, your child, and your family’s emotional well-being. Discuss growth, social behaviors, sleep, nutrition, learning, and family interactions with an experienced pediatrician. Get recommendations about everything from newborn sleeping, toilet training your toddler to screen time and how to get teens to talk. Visit our Providers page to learn more about Dr. Cassell here.

Keep your child as healthy as they can be with comprehensive child health care for physical, mental and social well-being. Schedule your child’s next visit right here with Sunshine with offices in Wasilla, Willow and Talkeetna.

 

 

 

 

Pediatrician Dr. Natalie Cassell

Searching for a Pediatrician?

Meet DR. CASSELL

Kids seated on a bench smiling

Pediatric Care at Sunshine

Schedule a visit with and experienced pediatrician focused on developmental milestones, safety, nutrition and your family’s emotional well-being.

breastfeeding book cover

FREE eBOOK: Everything a Parent Needs to Know About Breastfeeding

Get your newborn excited to nurse and promote a pleasant experience for you and your baby with these tips!

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