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What to Expect At Your Child's Pediatrician Visits

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A Special Report from the American Academy of Pediatrics

If you're like most parents, you take your child to the pediatrician for regular checkups, vaccinations, and height and weight monitoring. Of course, you also call the doc when your child is sick. But if these are the only issues you bring up with your kid's physician, you may be missing out on valuable advice. The profession has been changing, and pediatricians today consider issues like preventing obesity, using technology wisely, and even dealing with bullying to be important health concerns they can help kids and their parents navigate. More women in the profession and the trend toward group practices are also changing pediatrics. Parents in the know can take advantage of these changes to get more and better care for their children.

Who's Your Doctor?

Your child's doctor is just as likely to be a woman as a man. In 1992 only 35 percent of pediatricians were women, but by 2010 that number had increased to 57 percent. The majority of pediatricians are also now part of group practices. “Do try to make sure you see your own doctor at least every few visits or so,” urges Gwenn Schurgin O'Keeffe, M.D., a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “Having a close relationship with at least one of the doctors in the group will help your child feel more comfortable.”

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