The best pediatrician ever!

Tips for researching pediatricians

When it comes to finding a pediatrician for your child, you end up doing a lot of research. You probably end up asking yourself questions like: What school did they attend, or how long have they been in practice? While these first steps are important, don’t forget the following tips.


Compare doctors

Once you’ve looked through one doctor’s credentials, stack it up against another, and another. For example, U Compare Health Care lets you enter a doctor’s name and area then lists information about the physician, ranging from his or her education to hospital affiliations. You can input several names and compare which medical schools they’ve attended and how many years they’ve been in practice.

20 Questions you must ask your doctor!

However, some information on the website is listed as unknown even though it is available on other online sources. Also, information may not be as up-to-date as what’s offered on official sites from the state of New York.

This information is useless unless you know how to interpret it, so round out your research with additional online sources. On Vitals, you not only can find which schools your pediatrician attended but also the ranking that school received from reliable sources like the U.S. News & World  Report’s America’s Best Hospitals.

The magazine doesn’t grade hospitals, as other ratings and rankings do, on routine procedures like outpatient hernia repair or manageable conditions like low-grade heart failure. Instead, they look at how well these institutions do in complex and demanding situations—replacing an 85-year-old’s heart valve, diagnosing and treating a spinal tumor, and dealing with inflammatory bowel disease, to name three examples. For instance, the U.S. News & World Report categorizes New York University School of Medicine and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in the top 25% of medical schools in the country.

When it comes to birthing, you have options.

And what about hospital affiliations? Vitals includes ratings for hospitals too. Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie garnered a three out of four-star standing, and St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh garnered a four-star rating.

If you're looking for a doctor, check out our health guide!

Check license

While several websites give you helpful glimpses into your doctor’s background, for details about licensing, go straight to the source. The New York State Office of Professions keeps track of licensing information for all types of industries. Type in your doctor’s last name in the licensee name box and click on the correct profession from the pull down menu, in this case it’s “Physician.” With a click of the search button, you’ll find out if your doctor’s medical license is up-to-date. Although rare, some physicians could be practicing without a license.


Kristen J. Gough writes frequently about parenting topics when she’s not playing with her three daughters. You can read more at her blog.