Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Pediatrician?
A pediatrician is a medical doctor who specializes in the care of children. Pediatricians have undergone special training in the health and illnesses of infants, teens and young adults. Our pediatricians are certified by the American Board of Pediatrics after passing a comprehensive exam and maintained this certification with continued medical education and quality improvement projects. Pediatricians provide preventive health care for children in good health and medical care for children who are acutely or chronically ill. They also provide parents with support and advice with issues such as growth and development, safety and prevention, nutrition, and emotional wellness to foster a lifetime of good health.
Q: What is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner?
A pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) is an advanced practice registered nurse with a four year bachelor's degree in nursing who has completed a master's program in pediatrics. After completing their masters, a PNP may be eligible to sit for pediatric primary care board certification. A PNP can serve as a primary or specialty health care provider under a physician. Pediatric Nurse Practitioners work with patients from infancy to young adulthood, diagnosing illness, conducting exams, and prescribing medication. These nurses usually work independently alongside pediatricians in a hospital or outpatient facility.
Q: Can I meet my pediatrician before my baby is born?
Yes, in fact we strongly encourage parents-to-be to visit our office for a prenatal appointment. This is a great way to get acquainted with our office and our doctors. During this visit, we will answer any questions that you have about our practice or your new child.
Q: How often should my child see the pediatrician?
Your child should see your pediatrician when you are concerned with any illness. It is also important to schedule well-child-care exams regularly, beginning in infancy. These routine examinations provide the best opportunity for the doctor to observe the progress of your child's physical and mental growth and development; to counsel and teach parents; to detect problems through screening tests; to provide immunizations, and to get to know one another. Well-care visits are strongly recommended as part of preventive pediatric care. Well-child visits are also a good time for parents to raise questions and concerns about a child's development, behavior, nutrition, safety and overall well-being. Children who are seen for well child visits are more likely to grow up to be healthy adults.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends this schedule for routine well-care visits:
And once every year thereafter for an annual health supervision visit that includes a physical exam as well as a developmental, behavioral, and learning assessment.
Q: What is the best way to schedule an appointment with your office?
You can schedule an appointment by calling our office during regular business hours, or by requesting an appointment online.
Q: Is your office accepting new patients?
Yes, we always welcome new patients. Contact our office for additional information or request an appointment.
Q: Why does my child need to receive vaccinations?
Immunizations are a series of shots given to children at different ages to help ward off serious, and potentially fatal, childhood diseases. Making sure your child receives immunizations when scheduled is the best way to help protect your child from potentially fatal diseases. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, vaccinations have reduced the number of infections from vaccine-preventable diseases by more than 90%. If you are apprehensive about vaccinations, please contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our pediatricians.
Q: What hospitals are you affiliated with?
We see newborns from all of the hospitals in our region. We are affiliated with Southern Tennessee Regional Health System in Sewanee and in Winchester. If your infant or child needs to be hospitalized we will arrange for the most appropriate care at our local hospital or at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital or Erlanger's Children's Hospital.
Q: What do I do if my child is sick and your office is closed?
We are always available 24/7, 365 days/year. One of our pediatricians or our pediatric nurse practitioner is available by phone for consult and can arrange to meet you after hours, if necessary. If an ER visit is warranted, we will arrange for this through our local hospital, the Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, or the Children's Hospital at Erlanger.