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Finding the Right Pediatrician

Having a good relationship with your child's pediatrician or primary care provider is especially important for a child with special health care needs. You will want to find someone who values your expertise about your child and accepts you as a competent, knowledgeable partner on the health care team. Good communication is essential.

Your child's pediatrician or primary care provider may serve as the "gatekeeper" through which other medical or health-related services are decided and accessed. Whoever is responsible for directing health care for your child needs to have your trust and be willing to share information with you and include you in all decisions concerning your child's care.

Here are some questions to ask when recruiting a pediatrician or primary care provider:

  • In which health insurance plans do you participate?
  • How much experience do you have working with children with special needs and their families? Are you willing to learn about my child's special needs?
  • Who sees your patients when you are not available?
  • Are you comfortable making referrals to other health professionals and being part of a medical team in partnership with me?
  • To which hospitals do you refer patients? Is one a children's hospital?
  • Can you schedule extra time for appointments, if needed? Do you have flexible office hours that include weekends and evenings?
  • How easy or difficult is it to reach you by phone? What is the best time to call if I want to discuss something about my child?
  • Will you "go to bat" for my child if the health plan does not readily approve needed health services? would like to thank Oklahoma Family Voices for this information in striving to make daycare and childcare a more productive and efficient service. You can contact them at: P.O. Box 32255 Oklahoma City, OK 73123 phone: 405/271-7611 800/766-2223 x17611 fax: 405/373-3012

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