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Cook Children's Heart Center
Cook Children's Heart Center - Because childhood should be simple

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Selecting a specialist

Hearing that your child has a heart condition is scary and emotional. Suddenly you're overwhelmed with decisions about medical care—one of the most important of which is choosing a specialist. But where do you begin?

While the heart conditions in children, teens and young adults may have the same name as those in grownups, the approach to treatment may be very different. For starters, the size of the heart is different—smaller and constantly growing, changing and developing. Choosing a board-certified pediatric heart specialist ensures that your child's doctor has highly specialized training both in your child's diagnosis and in treating that diagnosis specifically in kids, teens and right into adulthood.

Where do you start?

A good place to begin your search is with your pediatrician. He or she is familiar with your child, your family and your child's diagnosis and prognosis. Your pediatrician also knows which doctors specialize in your child's ailment and who is up to date on the most advanced treatments and care. It is alright to ask for more than one recommendation to ensure that you are able to find the specialist that who can best meet your child's and your family's needs.

Friends, family and even coworkers are good resources as well. Even if they don't have experience with your child's condition, they may know people who have gone through what you're experiencing. If there is a pediatric medical center near you, you may also want to check their website to learn more about the specialists there.

Once you have compiled a list of specialists you feel comfortable with you will want to schedule interview appointments and take along a list of questions to ask each specialist. When you call the specialist's office, be sure to let the receptionist know that you are scheduling an interview appointment.

Questions to ask the specialist

It helps to make a list of the things that are important to you and your child before your interview appointment. The following questions provide a good starting point. You will probably have questions unique to your child's condition so you will want to add them to the list as well.

Again, these questions are a good starting point but please add any additional questions you may have that are important to your decision-making process.

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We're here to help.

If your child has been diagnosed, you probably have lots of questions. We can help. For resources, education or more information on support, click here. If you would like to schedule an appointment, refer a patient or speak to our staff, please call our offices at 682-885-2140.

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