The Three Pillars of a Leading Pediatric Collaborative

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We’ve all heard the saying, and it’s true – it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to care for one. Pediatricians rely on multidisciplinary teams of nurses, specialists, and staff to obtain a holistic view of our patients, who often are too young to verbalize their needs. 

Now, we know magic can happen when doctors work together. More comprehensive care, enhanced clinical expertise, support and mentorship, improved patient experiences, and medical research are just a few of the immense benefits. 

What if we could expand that collaboration outside the four walls of our practices? What could I do with other pediatricians who shared my passion? 

Build a national pediatric collaborative, from scratch. 

Having encountered the barriers to building a pediatric collaborative myself, I’ve found three main pillars that can help unite and empower pediatricians.

The Right Partner

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the current healthcare landscape makes it difficult to remain a private practice pediatrician without a partner. My partnership helped give me the extra time I needed to build this collaborative. It’s one of the first and most critical steps in changing the pediatric landscape.

In our case, we chose Privia Pediatrics because of their dedication to improving the lives of doctors and their patients.

For example, several pediatrician members voiced how they wanted access to a lactation consultant for their patients. Privia acted on our needs by partnering with lactation professionals and streamlining the onboarding process for future practices. Now, pediatricians whose patients need a lactation consultant can access that care right there in the office.

In addition to investing in services that give back to pediatricians, a healthcare partner should encourage the discussion to come from the members themselves. The only Privia-related agenda item we have is for leadership to listen to and provide feedback on our ideas. Everything else comes from our members.

An engaged healthcare partner wants to:

  • Enhance their technology by incorporating feedback from your collaborative.
  • Invest in resources that amplify the clinical voice.
  • Have skin in the game; their success depends on your success.


Hear how pediatric mental health will impact the future of value-based care.


A Pediatrician-Focused Culture

Regardless of their role in a collaborative, all pediatricians are leaders and advocates for their patients. This is true whether the scope is limited to their private practice or spans a larger organization. Thinking like a leader, however, often must be cultivated through meaningful engagement.

This boils down to asking your members the right questions. As practice owners, we’re so involved in day-to-day businesses that we often forget that pediatrics is a landscape. We need to shift from the micro to the macro by reframing our discussion topics. 

Your members will have plenty of ideas, but you can also ask them to look at the broader perspective with questions like:

  • Is this particular problem or solution applicable to everyone? If so, how can we scale it?
  • What future opportunities could this solution present for me, my peers, and the profession?
  • What is the strategy behind this solution? How would it be deployed?


When you start asking your members to think like leaders,  participation will rise if you approach them with questions about their patients or community and ask them to speak about their experiences. After all, the goal is to learn from others!

A meaningful and active pediatric collaborative:

  • Rotates speakers to amplify perspectives from different backgrounds, cultures, and regions.
  • Assigns pediatricians certain roles and brings them into the fold.
  • Votes on ideas, discussion topics, and actions.


Here’s how Privia and Dr. Middleton worked together to solve the top challenges of a pediatric practice.


Learning and Trust

Healthcare is always evolving, making learning critical in the future of pediatrics. Creating a culture of continued learning starts with a foundation of trust within the collaborative that fosters non-judgmental conversation to build members’ confidence.

I’ve experienced firsthand how tough it is to build a welcoming environment. Because we’re part of a national physician network, we primarily operate our collaborative over video calls. However, there are still many ways to break down those silos we know all too well and build relationships among your members.

A strong culture within your collaborative:

  • Encourages participation regardless of age and years of experience. I’ve learned a lot from my peers, and some of the more experienced practitioners have learned from me.
  • Connects mentors and creates rotating breakout groups.
  • Solicits feedback to help fill any learning gaps.


Collaboration among pediatricians is essential for providing the best possible care to children and adolescents. With the right physician partner, a supportive culture, and continued learning, we can work together to improve patient outcomes and build stronger healthcare networks for our young patients and their families.

Don’t think you can do it alone? You don’t need to. Our partnership with Privia Pediatrics was crucial to building this collaborative space with our peers.

By taking on the business side of medicine for me, I had the freedom to create something I’m immensely proud of. The right partnership can help you build something you’re proud of, too.


Dr. Laura Panto-Arling headshot.

Dr. Laura Panto Arling practices with a team of pediatricians at Capitol Medical Group in Chevy Chase, MD. Her clinical interests include complex care patients, adolescent mental health, and lactation.

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