As you plan for your child's medical care, use these questions as a guide for learning more about your PCP's practice. You may want to use them whether you are choosing a new PCP for your child or if your child already has one. You can use them when meeting with a specialist or other health care provider too.

Who in your office will be involved in my child's care?

Who do I talk to about:

  • Scheduling or changing an appointment?

  • Medical information?

  • Insurance and billing information?

  • Help in an emergency?

  • Services related to my child's special needs?

  • Getting letters of medical necessity?

Who do I talk to when you are not available?

  • Will I be speaking to a nurse or a doctor?

  • Can you introduce me and my child to other PCPs in the practice so they will know about my child's special health needs?

  • What if I absolutely need to reach you?

  • What hospital(s) do you work with?

What if my child needs to see a specialist?

  • How do you choose a specialty doctor or a therapist?

  • How do you choose a counselor or mental health provider?

  • How will you communicate with the specialist caring for my child, and how will you keep me informed?

How do you work with other people caring for my child?

  • Will you help develop health care and education plans for Early Intervention and my child's school?

  • If my child needs to be hospitalized, will you visit us in the hospital? Will you be involved in discharge and home care planning?

How will decisions be made about my child's care?

  • What role will I have in making treatment decisions?

  • Will you help me make decisions about specialty care options?

  • I have certain beliefs about my child's care. How do you feel about them?

  • If I want to get a second opinion regarding my child's diagnosis or treatment, will you help me?

  • Can you advise me if I have questions about new treatments or procedures that could be helpful for my child?

How will I be kept informed about my child's special health needs?

  • How will I get basic information about my child's diagnosis?

  • Will you tell me about research developments that might affect my child's care?

  • Who will train me if I need to give my child special medication or treatment?

Will you help me plan for my child's short and long-term needs?

  • Will you help me understand what to expect about my child's development and long-term health needs?

  • Will you be honest with me even if it means saying, "I don't know?"

  • What if I am having trouble dealing with the stress of parenting my child? Are you willing and able to help me?

  • As my child grows older, how can you help us prepare for the transition to adolescence and adulthood?

  • Are you comfortable discussing sexuality, alcohol and drug use, and other risky behaviors with my teen?

  • What will happen when my teen needs to transition to adult-oriented health care?

Tip: When you ask a question and the answer is not clear, ask for it to be explained again (and again if necessary!).