Finding the Best Pediatrician for Your Child’s Needs
No parent wants to see their kid suffering, whether it’s a case of the sniffles or something more serious. All they desire is for their little one to get better. That is the focus of pediatric medicine.
While a family practice healthcare provider may be able to address some of the health issues children face, it’s the special training pediatricians go through—an additional three years after medical school—that makes them experts in children’s health.
“During that time, we rotate in different areas of pediatrics, only working with kids. We have a lot of extensive experience in the neonatal intensive care unit or the pediatric intensive care unit,” says Dr. Margarita Mankus, pediatrician with Riverside Medical Group. “Those are experiences that are unique to physicians who have done training in pediatrics. We’ve learned a lot about how to take care of kids in all sorts of different settings.”
Ask These Important Questions
Per Dr. Mankus, it’s never too early to start looking for a pediatrician—even months before your baby is born. A “meet and greet” provides the opportunity for expecting parents to ask questions of the pediatrician and get a sense if it’s a good match for both parties.
“It’s important to start that conversation early, but the big thing I’ll say is to just trust your instincts. It’s crucial you find a pediatrician who is going to be a really good fit for you, someone who you can really trust and communicate with well,” advises Dr. Mankus. “This is your child, this is your child’s health, so you need to find a pediatrician that you click with, who takes the time to listen to you, who answers your questions. It’s a decision that should be made with enough time for contemplation.”
Some of the questions Dr. Mankus encourages parents ask include:
- Who would take care of my child if the pediatrician is not available?
- Is there emergency coverage that’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
- How do I get in touch with my pediatrician when I think of questions?
- What are the pediatrician’s qualifications and training? Are they board certified?
- What hospital are they affiliated with or what options are in place for when my child needs in-hospital care?
She also suggests using one’s OB/GYN as a resource, as most know of trusted pediatricians in the area. To request a referral from Riverside Medical Group, parents can call 855-404-3627 or schedule an appointment online.
Setting Your Child Up for Long-Term Health
Your relationship with your child’s pediatrician—and your child’s relationship with their pediatrician—is a long-term one, often lasting throughout their teenage and even young adult years in some cases. So, it’s important to find a provider like Dr. Mankus who has the passion and dedication your child deserves.
“I always knew I wanted to be a pediatrician. I’ve always been pretty stubborn about that,” she shares. “I love kids. I love that they’re so resilient. I love that they’re so energetic, even when they’re sick. And I love caring for them.
To listen to an interview with Dr. Margarita Mankus, pediatrician with Riverside Medical Group, visit How to Choose a Pediatrician