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How To Find The Right Pediatric Neurologist

How to Find the Right Pediatric Neurologist

Choosing the right pediatric neurologist can be daunting. You want a medical expert who is one of the best in the field. You also want a place where your child feels comfortable. Finding the right fit helps ensure your child gets the quality of care and encourages you to access care when your child needs it!

Where to Start

How do you know that your child needs a neurologist? Most pediatric neurologist referrals come from pediatricians. Some will come from emergency room doctors or from other specialists. When they refer you to a pediatric neurologist, they should include referrals to specific individuals. While those doctors may not end up being who you choose, they are a good place to start your search for a pediatric neurologist.

Check Qualifications

Many specialists who focus on pediatrics received all of their extra training specifically in pediatric specialties. However, pediatric neurologists usually have extensive neurological training and may even be able to follow patients once they hit adulthood.

Your pediatric neurologist should have

  • Four years of medical school
  • Pediatric residency or internship (1 to 2 years)
  • Child neurology training (3 years with 1 year of included adult neurology)

While pediatric experience is important, knowledge of the neurological system is the most important qualification for a pediatric neurologist. Is the recommended neurologist affiliated with any neurological programs at local hospitals? Did they complete a fellowship concentrating on a sub-specialty?

Look at Subspecialties

Even in something as highly specific as pediatric neurology, neurologists may choose to concentrate on specific areas. What type of neurological challenge is your child experiencing? Epilepsy? Migraines? Stroke? Autism? Developmental disorders? Those are just a few of the issues child neurologists can treat. You may want to pick a neurologist who focuses on your child’s particular challenges.

Plan a Consultation

No matter how qualified a pediatric neurologist is, bedside manner is incredibly important. A pediatric neurologist has to make child patients feel comfortable enough to honestly share symptoms with them and discuss the impact of medications and other interventions. They also have to be able to discuss medical conditions with parents in rational and thorough ways. You also want to talk to their staff. If you need to coordinate treatment with your child’s pediatrician or other specialists, you need to make sure the pediatric neurologist office has a strong, responsive staff that treats every child’s health as a matter of the utmost importance.

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