4 Tips to Help You Find the Right Cardiologist for Your Child
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Finding a cardiologist for your child may seem like a daunting task, especially when your child needs immediate care. Jeffrey Becker, MD, Director of Outpatient Services for Children’s National Heart Institute, shares these four tips to make finding a pediatric cardiologist less stressful.
- Do Your Research: Pediatric cardiologists go through specific training to learn everything there is to know about the hearts of growing kids. This includes medical school, specialty training, and sometimes additional subspecialty training, depending on the type of cardiology care that they provide. Take a look at what different doctors focused on during their medical training to see if they are a good fit for your child. You also can look at their practice history and specific interests. In some cases, hospitals and practices post physician ratings and patient satisfaction scores on their websites.
- Consider a Specialist: Most of the time, visits to the cardiologist will be pretty straight-forward, but occasionally, cardiac issues may require a little more expertise in a specific area, such as interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, or cardiac surgery. Take the time to research the cardiac specialties offered and narrow down your search according to your child’s needs. Choose someone who can provide access to the care you need, when you need it; whether that means that they have the expertise your child needs or that they can connect you with other specialists who do. Physicians at Children’s National Heart Institute have subspecializations in many areas including arrhythmias, fetal cardiology, adult congenital heart disease, preventive cardiology, and more.
- Get in the Conversation: Parents should feel included in the care process. Take the time to talk to providers and make sure your voice is heard. After all, you know your child best. A family-centered cardiologist will consider the concerns of family members and provide adequate instruction on how to care for their children throughout the process.
- Check Into Availability: Convenience is a plus! It is important that care is available when you need it and easily accessible. Make sure you research all of the pediatric cardiologists in your area to see what works best for you. To make things easier on families, Children’s National offers cardiology clinics at more than 10 locations throughout Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
About the Expert
Jeffrey BeckerDirector, Outpatient Cardiology
Jeffrey A. Becker, MD, joined Children’s National Health System in August 2008 as a full-time attending. He is primarily located at Holy Cross Hospital providing pediatric cardiology services to both inpatients and outpatients.