The Keys to a Good Doctor’s Visit

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When you take your child for her well visit, do you leave the pediatrician’s office feeling like you got all the answers you’d hoped for?

Not always, right?

This was the basis for a story we published in our February issue, called “Make the Most of Your Child’s Checkup.” In it, we offer seven strategies every parent should consider before the appointment. They include:

Speak up right away. I know that I’ve been tempted to wait until the very end of the visit to bring up the things I’m concerned about (like the time my then 17-month-old seemed to be particularly preoccupied with specks on the ground). But the doctors we interviewed said that’s not the way to go. Kick off your visit with your questions and worries, and your doc will have the entire visit to keep an eye out for any problems, or to quell your fears altogether.

Show up as a team. Of course, it’s not always possible for you and your partner to come to a doctor’s visit. But when you can, do—pediatricians like getting input and perspective from both of you.

Bring your backup. Did you read or see something that made you worry about your child? Print out the article or study or TV transcript and show it to your doc. Simply saying “I heard that you’re not supposed to [common action here] anymore because [scary outcome here]” won’t help. Your doctor can only intelligently comment on something if you’ve provided the source.

Check out our story for more ideas. And good luck at your next appointment!

Image: Aimee Herring

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