It’s no secret that mothers have a lot on their plates. In addition to the never-ending juggling act of work, family, and social obligations, they also have the vital job of keeping their family healthy. But with so many different health professionals, it can be tough to know where to start. Here’s a look at some of the most important health professionals your family needs and what mothers should consider when choosing them.
You must find health professionals with the necessary credentials for the job. Also, research your shortlisted health professionals’ names online to see if there are no issues such as suits or complaints against them.
Next, you must ensure that they are covered by your family’s health insurance. Once those basics are settled, you must choose based on the convenience of their location and clinic hours. Finally, and most importantly, you must schedule a preliminary visit for each family member to see if you all feel comfortable with them. Let all family members decide whether the health professional is a good fit. After all, you’ll entrust this person with your family’s most precious commodity—their health.
Your family doctor is your go-to for all things health-related. From colds and the flu to broken bones and chronic illnesses, your family doctor is there to help. When choosing a family doctor, the first thing you should do is look for proof that they have the appropriate training and education to provide care for your family. Family doctors should have a medical degree from an accredited school, as well as board certification in family medicine. Ensure that they are registered to practice in your state.
To find doctors in your area, you can use Medicare’s finder and comparison tool for health providers. This is also useful for finding hospitals in your locality. Once you have several names, check the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) website for their educational background, board certifications, state licenses, and whether any actions have been filed against them. Do note that pending suits or complaints are not on this website, so you must do further online research on each doctor’s name.
If you have young children, then you’ll also need to find a pediatrician — a doctor who specializes in the care of babies and children up to the age of 18. When choosing a pediatrician, it’s important to find someone who is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
You will often need the services of a pediatrician for emergencies, such as when your child’s fever soars in the middle of the night. Ensure that the pediatrician you choose offers emergency services around the clock, including on weekends and holidays. Also, choose one who is affiliated with a hospital near you.
It is even more important for a pediatrician to have excellent patient rapport. If you don’t feel comfortable with the pediatrician, it will only make your child more anxious about visiting the doctor.
Another important member of your family healthcare team is a family dentist — preferably one who also specializes in pediatrics if you have children. Babies need dental care as soon as their teeth come out. A good dentist will be able to provide routine cleanings, check-ups, and preventive treatments, as well as more specialized dental care, such as braces or extractions.
When choosing a dentist, it’s important to make sure that they are accredited by the American Dental Association and have an excellent track record. You’ll also want to find someone who accepts your type of dental insurance — or better yet, offers affordable payment plans for families without dental insurance coverage. Lastly, it’s important that you find a dentist who makes you and your family feel comfortable.
Family Eye Specialist
Eye care is an important part of overall health, which is why you’ll need to find an optometrist or ophthalmologist for your family — preferably one who offers pediatric eye care services. A good eye specialist will be able to provide routine vision screenings as well as more specialized care for conditions like amblyopia, also called lazy eye, or strabismus, also called crossed eyes.
When choosing an eye specialist for your family, you’ll want to make sure that they are accredited by the American Optometric Association or the American Academy of Ophthalmology — depending on whether they are an optometrist or ophthalmologist, respectively.
Putting Your Family’s Health in the Best Hands
Depending on your family’s needs, there may be other health professionals that you require, such as:
- a physical therapist if your child has developmental delays or other physical disabilities
- a mental health professional if your child has anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues
- an allergist/immunologist if anyone in your family has allergies or autoimmune disorders
- a nutritionist if anyone in your family is struggling with obesity or another eating disorder
No matter what type of health professional you are looking for, it’s important to do your research in order to find someone who meets both your and your family’s needs. Consider their credentials, experience, convenience, and the family’s comfort level. By doing so, you can rest assured knowing that each member of your family is in good hands.