What are some things I should consider in choosing the right doctor for my child?

Selecting the right doctor(s) to help you control your child’s asthma is very important. They provide the treatment your child needs, and more: the assurance that you are making every effort to help keep your child’s asthma under control.

Here are some guidelines for choosing doctor(s) who are right for you and your child.

Comfort level counts. Ask yourself:

  • Are you, and/or your child, more comfortable with a male or female doctor?
  • Do you, and/or your child, prefer a young doctor or one who’s older?
  • Which is more important to you and your child: a doctor with a warm, understanding manner or one who has exceptional experience, skills, and/or education and training? (Of course, there’s no harm in looking for a doctor with both!)

Look into the background of each doctor you’re considering for your child’s asthma care:

  • Where did the doctor get his or her basic and/or specialized medical education and training?
  • If you’re looking for a specialist: Is he or she Board-certified in pediatric allergy/ immunology or pulmonology?
    • This means that, in addition to years of medical and specialty training, the doctor has passed a comprehensive examination developed by Board-certified specialists. Once certified, the doctor must stay current by taking a regularly scheduled recertification examination and attending continuing education programs.

The old saying, “Location, location, location” applies to doctors, too:

  • Do you prefer seeing a doctor near you, or are you willing to travel further to see a doctor you particularly like and/or respect?
  • What “office hours” work best for you and your child?
  • Is there a specialist—pediatric allergist/immunologist or pediatric pulmonologist—associated with your child’s doctor’s practice, or one with an office in the same medical complex or hospital?
    • Having them near each other may help them communicate more easily about your child’s asthma care.

Find out about doctors’ specific experience with caring for children with asthma:

  • How many children with asthma has a doctor you’re considering cared for?
  • How long has the doctor been caring for children with asthma?