In choosing a new doctor or medical resource you want somebody who is friendly, always available, easy to talk to, knowledgeable, inexpensive, and does this all with no waiting time at the office or clinic. Well, . . . .at the present time you will have to settle for a provider who comes closest to your ideals. Realizing that probably no one will meet all your criteria. In this age of medical cost control, not all doctors are on all health plan. First, get a list of local doctors on your plan from your employer or insurance company. If your child is on Medi-Cal or CHDP (EPDST), check with the local Medi-Cal office or CHDP office at the health department for a list of providers.
From your list there are several ways to select a new doctor. Simply choosing one out of the phone book is probably the least desirable. Calling the Medical Society or talking to the receptionist or operator at the hospital will get a physician, but they simply issue doctors off a list. The best way to find a doctor is to talk to people. Check with friends or relatives or other people on the job. Probably the very best people to ask about physicians in the community are nurses or other insiders in the medical community. If an emergency room nurse is happy with her pediatrician, chances are that doctor is one of the better ones available. People who work in the medical community know the inside information about a physician’s competence and ability and they’re usually a little more critical of doctors’ offices, etc., than people outside the medical community.
In any case, ask about things you consider important in a health care provider. Call the office and ask the same questions. It’s best to have an initial appointment when your child is well. Getting seen and getting to know somebody when you’re worried about a sick child is much more difficulty.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has membership criteria which include the ability to pass a fairly extensive test in the field of pediatrics. Physicians who are Fellows in the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP) meet this minimal criteria, but there is no guarantee that they are easy to talk to or inexpensive, etc. Go to the AAP sponsored Healthy Children website page: Find a Pediatrician or Pediatric Specialist.
We wish you good luck in your new adventure.
Dr. Humphry is Board Certified in Pediatrics and provides a full range of pediatric care from “premie” care through high school age adolescents. Dr. Humphry grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. He attended medical school at the University of Southern California and did a rotating internship at Vancouver General Hospital in British Columbia before working three years in general practice in the Indian Health Service in Alaska. Then he completed a pediatric residence at University of Oregon Health Sciences Center in Portland before moving to Arcata in 1977. Dr. Humphry has seven grown children and a dedicated, loyal wife. He enjoys outdoor activities and is a volunteer guide at Redwood National and State Parks.