Medical Care

Finding Primary Care Providers and Specialists

It’s important to find primary care providers and specialists who are the right “fit” for your child and for your family.  Here are some general suggestions:

  • Ask for recommendations from other parents as well as heathcare professionals who are involved with your child.
  • Confirm that a provider accepts your child’s health insurance by calling the customer service number on your child’s insurance card, checking the insurer’s web site or calling the provider. 
  • Ask the provider which hospitals he or she is affiliated with, and about office policies concerning costs that are not covered by insurance
  • Consider the office location, hours, parking or access to public transportation, physical accessibility, accommodations for special needs, and communication concerns.  If you or your child needs an interpreter for a language other than English or a sign language interpreter, ask about availability.
  • Ask if the provider has experience with the condition that your child has. 
  • Inquire about the types of appointments available, options for longer appointments, and the average waiting time to get an appointment.
  • Ask about the office’s methods of communicating with families, including email.
  • Healthcare providers understand that parent of a child with special healthcare needs may want to meet before the bringing in the child for an appointment. Check with the provider to see if there is an out-of-pocket charge for such a visit.

For Referrals to Primary Care Providers or Specialists:

Resource Contact Information

Allegheny County Medical Society
Maintains list of primary care providers and specialists who are members.
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Children’s Physician Referral Line
Find a Doctor
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Primary Care Center
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Adolescent Medicine
The Consumer Health Coalition
Pennsylvania Medical Society
Find-A-Physician search tool identifies primary care providers who are members.
UPMC Hamot, Erie
UPMC Health System
Maintains list of all affiliated providers.
UPMC Latterman Health Center
UPMC Mercy
Allegheny Health System
Provides list of affiliated providers at Allegheny General Hospital, Alle-Kiski Medical Center, Canonsburg Hospital, West Penn Hospital, and West Penn – Forbes Regional.

See Diagnosis-Specific Support in the Family Support section of this Guide for organizations that may provide referrals to health care providers.