Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health Tips for August 13

Health Tip: Selecting a Pediatrician

Choosing a pediatrician for your baby or toddler is an important decision, as you'll frequently turn to that doctor for questions, answers and advice.

The Nemours Foundation offers these suggestions to help parents chose a pediatrician:

  • If you're pregnant, start looking for a pediatrician even before your baby is born. It's a good idea to start pediatrician hunting about three months before your due date.
  • Make sure the pediatrician participates in your health insurance company's network.
  • Get advice from friends and family about their pediatricians.
  • Look for a pediatrician who is board-certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Make sure he or she doesn't have any associated complaints filed with the state medical board.
  • Ask lots of questions, about topics such as office hours, emergency availability and affiliated hospitals.

Health Tip: Be Proactive at Your Next Doctor Visit

If you don't go to the doctor very often, it's important to make the most of every visit.

It's your opportunity to talk to your doctor about any health problems, or questions that you have.

Here are conversation pointers for your next medical visit, as recommended by the American Academy of Family Physicians:

  • Bring up any symptoms or health concerns that you have.
  • Create a log of your health history and bring it to your appointment.
  • Tell your doctor about any stress in your life that could be affecting your health.
  • Discuss any medications or supplements that you take, and any side effects that you suspect may be caused by them.
  • Bring any recent medical records, test results or X-rays.
  • Clarify anything your doctor says that you don't understand.
  • Ask for extra time to spend with your doctor, if you need it. If your doctor can't be available personally, a nurse or physician assistant may be able to spend time with you.

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