When your child was born, and probably before, you found the best pediatrician to treat your new baby. If you need a specialist, such as a pediatric podiatrist, you want to practice that same level of care. Although you won’t see a podiatrist nearly as often as your pediatrician, it’s still important to find someone you and your child trust. In this post, we offer seven tips for choosing a pediatric podiatrist.
1. Get a Referral
The first thing to do, even if your insurance does not require it, is to ask your pediatrician for a referral. Your regular doctor knows your child well and will also be familiar with other pediatric providers.
In addition to talking to your pediatrician, ask friends and family if they’ve ever needed a podiatrist for their child. You’ll get to hear firsthand how well the doctor performed (or didn’t).
2. Look at Reviews
The Internet makes it easier than ever to learn what other patients thought of a doctor. You can go to a particular review platform, such as Yelp, or search Google. Just type “pediatric podiatrist ratings” followed by your city or zip code and the search engine does the rest.
When reading reviews, consider how many people have reviewed the practice. In general, a higher number of reviews is better, as it gives you a more rounded look at the provider. Also, look for the overall feel. A few negative reviews are natural, but the majority should be positive. If they aren’t, you may want to look for another podiatrist.
Finally, if the negative reviews concern you even though the overall rating is high, try looking at other posts from that reviewer. You’ll see whether all of their reviews are negative or if they occasionally get service they appreciate. You may also discover they’ve reviewed businesses you frequent and you can see how well your opinions match.
3. Check the Podiatrist’s Credentials
In addition to where the doctor got his or her degree, look at board memberships, such as the American Podiatric Medical Association and American Board of Podiatric Surgery. Also, don’t be afraid to call the doctor’s office and ask a few questions. How long has the doctor been in practice? What percentage of their practice is devoted to treating children? You should also find much of this information on the practice’s website.
4. Do You Like the Support Staff?
A good doctor understands the importance of hiring excellent support staff. From the moment you enter, and even from that first phone call, you should feel welcome and comfortable. From the person answering the phone to whomever greets you to the medical assistant taking your child’s medical history, you should feel valued and respected.
5. Is Your Child Comfortable with the Doctor?
It’s normal for kids to be a little nervous at the doctor’s office. It only becomes an issue if they remain nervous or frightened. A good pediatric podiatrist is skilled at putting children at ease.
Look for a podiatrist who interacts naturally with children and with whom your child feels comfortable. In addition to talking to you, the doctor should speak directly with your child (assuming the child has the ability to communicate their issues).
6. Are the Doctor’s Tools and Practices Up-to-Date?
Although gadgets don’t define the doctor, you do want a podiatrist who uses the latest proven technologies for diagnosis and treatment. For example, digital x-rays performed on-site allow the doctor to review images with you and your child right away instead of waiting for lab work.
In addition to the latest diagnostic equipment, you want your provider to stay up-to-date on advances in treatment, which brings us to number seven.
7. Do They Explain Your Treatment Options?
Some podiatrists go directly to surgical solutions. While there are cases where surgery is the best option, be wary of providers who advise it for everything. A good doctor describes all of your treatment options and generally considers surgery a last resort. He or she makes sure you understand your child’s condition as well as the improvement you could expect with each treatment option.
The Final Diagnosis
When your child needs a podiatrist, you want to make sure you get the best doctor available to you. Talk to your pediatrician, but also ask family and friends for a referral. Look at online reviews, and make sure your child feels comfortable and safe with whomever you choose. Create a list of questions to ask the podiatrist about your child’s condition and treatment options to get a feel for their knowledge and methods.
If you have any questions about your child’s foot health, call us at 480-497-3946 or complete our contact form. Someone from our office will respond as soon as possible.