Choosing a Pediatrician: What Questions Should You Ask?

By Faith Golden

During pregnancy, your mind often races ahead to think of the future, the nursery, what kind of delivery you want etc. But, sometime around the end of your second trimester or beginning of your third trimester, you should start thinking about the health care professional you will choose to take care of that bundle of joy, from babyhood through adolescence. Some people choose pediatricians, and some choose family practice doctors, but either way, you want to choose someone who sees eye to eye with you, and supports your values. Of course if for some reason you don’t see eye-to-eye, you can change doctors, but you will save yourself a lot of headaches and hard feelings if you find a doctor for your child that you trust and with whom you feel comfortable.

The way to start your search is to ask family and friends who takes care of their children. Then ask them what they like and dislike about the doctor. You can begin to make a list of the characteristics you will be looking for in your baby’s doctor. If any of the doctors sound like someone you would want taking care of your baby, then consider adding him or her to the list of doctors you want to interview.

1. 2. 3. 4.
The Practice
Does the office take your insurance?
Is this a group or sole practitioner practice?
What hospital is the practice affiliated with?
What is the after hours and weekend policy?
Will you always see your chosen doctor?
What are the office hours?
Does the office have same-day appointments?
How can you reach the doctor after hours for non-emergencies? Emergencies?
The Doctor       
How long has the doctor been practicing?
Do you feel comfortable with the doctor?  Do you feel comfortable asking the doctor questions?
Do your philosophies agree on breastfeeding, co-sleeping, immunizations etc.
Will the doctor examine your newborn shortly after birth?
Does the doctor’s personality mesh with yours?
The Office
Was the staff friendly when you booked the appointment?
Was the wait for an appointment acceptable?
Is the waiting room clean with clean un-broken toys?
Are there two waiting rooms, one for sick children and the other for well children?
Are the office personnel, nurses etc., friendly and helpful?

 

© Faith Golden 2012. This material may not be copied or used in any manner without the express written permission by the author.