How to find the right pediatric neurologist

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

Where to start

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

Check qualifications

Many specialists who focus on pediatrics have already completed their additional training specifically on pediatrics. However, pediatric neurologists usually have extensive neurological training and may even be able to follow patients once they reach adulthood.

Your pediatric neurologist should have that

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

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 neurological programs in local hospitals? Have they completed a fellowship where they focused on a subspecialty?

Look at Subspecialties

Even in something as highly specific as pediatric neurology, neurologists may choose to focus on specific areas. What kind of neurological challenge is your child experiencing? Epilepsy? Migraine? Heart attack? autism? Developmental Disabilities? Those are just some of the problems that pediatric neurologists can treat. You may want to choose a neurologist who focuses on your child’s specific challenges.

Schedule a consultation

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

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