Maintaining Good Health Even When You're Busy

How To Get Your Child Comfortable With A New Pediatrician Following A Move

by Caitlin Obara

Moving can be hard for children. Not only are they leaving friends and family, but they are leaving other vital people in their lives, including their pediatrician. Recreating and developing new relationships with a new pediatrician and staff can often be overwhelming. With a bit of coaching, you can help them overcome their fears and create a new relationship. Here are a few steps to make this process as painless as possible.

Ask For A Referral

Many times pediatricians are part of professional networks. They also have numerous friends from medical school who have moved all over the country. Your current pediatrician may know pediatric doctors in the new area you are moving to. 

Discuss your move with your current pediatrician and ask them for a referral to a new practice. Your child may be more accepting of a new doctor when they know they are a friend of their current pediatrician or someone they already trust.

Having a friend in common (the former pediatrician) can also be a way for your child and the new doctor to bond. It at least creates small talk and conversation.

Let Your Child Interview The Doctor

Older children should have some say in which pediatrician they see. They should be a part of the decision and be allowed to interview the new doctor.

Sit down with them and help them develop a list of questions they think are important. Ask them what their perfect doctor looks like. Do they want to see a male or a female? Do they want to be a part of a small or large practice? Be willing to visit more than one doctor until they find one they are comfortable with. 

Including them in the process will make them feel more in control in building the relationship with the doctor. This relationship is essential in developing trust, especially as your child grows. A time will come when your child will execute their patient-doctor confidence independently.

Offer Choices Once You Arrive

Empower your child by offering them choices once you arrive at the doctor's office. Let them decide where they sit in the waiting room, which arm the nurse uses for their blood pressure, and which finger the nurse uses for their pulse oxygen reading. 

Encourage them to verbalize their choices to the nurses or the doctor. Let them answer questions they know the answers to. This practice will help them become more comfortable speaking up for themselves.  

Reach out to a local pediatrician to learn more.