Picking a Pediatrician

As you approach your due date, one task on your list should be to select a pediatrician for your new baby. While some parents simply pick a name from the phone book, and others prefer interviewing possible doctors down to the color of the paint on the walls of their office, we would suggest a middle ground.

Try to gain information by calling each doctor’s office or practice and asking for information that will become relevant through your future interactions with the potential pediatrician, should you select them to be the medical provider for your child. Some topics that you might want to consider asking about in order to determine if you and the provider see eye to eye on are:

-Breastfeeding, formula feeding, and pumping. If you have questions or concerns about your progress, you should feel supported and encouraged in your choices.

-Vaccination schedules and administration. Your view on how and when you want you child vaccinated should match up with what your pediatrician will allow or is comfortable implementing.

-The provider’s views on the use of prescriptions and natural treatments for common childhood illnesses.

-The pediatrician’s/practice’s regular office hours, their availability on weekends or after hours call service in case of an emergency.

-The doctor’s likability, and if you feel they will take the time to talk to you about your questions and concerns.

-The office’s location and its proximity to your home, work, or childcare provider.

-You might consider whether they have a “well child” seating area for children visiting for check ups and vaccinations, so your child will not be exposed to children who are waiting to see the doctor because they are ill.

-Depending on your lifestyle and personality, you might want to consider the typical wait times before being seen by the doctor. If you are typically on a tight schedule, waiting an hour and a half before being seen might make you dread having to schedule an appointment.

Finally, a recommendation from a friend or colleague, or a review from a trusted site may be a great way to make a final decision as to which provider will best fit your family’s needs and expectation. Above all don’t forget that if you decide that the pediatrician you have selected isn’t working out, it is okay to ask for your records to be transferred to another doctor’s office. Your pediatrician, like all members of your childcare team, should be a good fit in order to help your child grow and thrive.

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