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New study reveals the top city for access to pediatric care

When kids are sick, parents want the best and most reliable care for them.  And as children across the nation head back to school, a new study ranks America’s top cities for access to the best pediatric care.

The study produced by Vitals, a physician review and rating service, scored the top 200 most populous cities across America to find a winner. To create the list, each city was scored in four different categories-- the number of pediatrician’s per-capita (for children 18 and under), the ease of getting an appointment, the average wait times and the overall doctor’s rating as reported by patients on vitals.com.

“The relationship we have with our pediatrician really ends up being one of the most collaborative doctor relationships we have as we work on behalf of our children,” Orlena Yeung, the chief marketing officer at Vitals told FoxNews.com.

The study found Grand Prairie, Texas and North Las Vegas, Nevada tied for the worst cities for access to pediatric care. According to Yeung, the two cities have above average populations of kids-- about 35 percent, compared to the national average of 23.3 percent.

“When you think in terms of how many pediatricians per child, were talking numbers like 2,700 kids per pediatrician in the area [of Grand Prairie and North Las Vegas], and that leads to the longer wait times, difficulty getting appointments and overall ranking.” Yeung said.

Grand Rapids, Michigan came out on top, having about 145 kids per pediatrician in the area and scoring better for access and quality.

“Even though big metropolitan areas have a lot of pediatricians, our studies found that getting an appointment can take upward of forty days-- which as we know isn’t really convenient when a child is sick a lot.”

Here are five tips from Vitals for finding a pediatrician you love.
 

1. LOCATION
You want a pediatrician that is close and not too far from your home. You’re going to be seeing this doctor a lot.

2. REPUTATION
When you’re reviewing any doctor getting your network to give you that recommendation is important, so find out what other people say about the pediatrician and validate it with online reviews and ratings.

3. PHILOSOPHY
Every parent and doctor has their own opinion on what is the right way to raise a baby, so make sure that your doctor shares your philosophy on what it means for child wellbeing. Have a discussion on vaccination schedules, fluoride dosing, and even feeding habits. You want to feel comfortable to discuss your concerns and values, without feeling judged.

4. AVAILABILITY
Kids don’t just get sick during office hours. You want to find a pediatrician who is able to take a call outside of office hours and weekend communication.

5. GOOD LISTENER
Most kids can’t adequately express their symptoms, so your doctor needs to be able to listen to you as you describe your child’s behavior. In addition, new parents need to feel like they are being given the time to discuss concerns and get feedback – without being rushed through an appointment.

To see the full list of city rankings, visit vitals.com