Finding and Interviewing a Pediatrician
" How can I find a good pediatrician? Can I interview them before I choose them? What questions should I ask when I interview them? "
These are some of the questions that we get asked by our clients when trying to choose a pediatrician. Indeed, it is a smart idea to interview pediatricians before choosing one. Also, it is best if you can choose one by the eighth month of pregnancy, that way things are set in place and you feel less rushed.
So how do you go about finding a pediatrician? Check with your friends, your family, your OB/Midwife, and doula for recommendations. Often times, care providers and doulas even have a list of recommended pediatricians to hand out.
Remember- pediatricians are VERY busy. When you call the office, ask if they do Meet-and-Greet consultations. Often times, they will give you a 15 minute appointment, so ask the most important questions first. Not all pediatricians have time to do Meet-and-Greet consultations beforehand, so you may have to wait to ask the pediatrician certain questions at your initial visit with baby.
Remember, every pediatrician practices differently, just as every parent "parents" differently- go with your gut when choosing the pediatrician that is right for your family. And remember - nothing is set in stone once you choose your pediatrician. As time goes on, differences may come up- it's ok to change pediatricians down the road.
Questions to Ask the Doctor
- How soon after delivery do you visit my baby?
- What hospitals do you have privileges?
- What is your schedule for immunizations? Are you flexible if I decide to delay some vaccines?
- Do you have a separate room for sick and well children?
- Do you offer evening or weekend appointments? What about same-day appointments?
- What is your philosophy about treating babies? Do you agree with attachment parenting or more of a “cry it out” approach? What is your philosophy about antibiotics and other medications? What is your view on circumcision?
- How are phone calls handled in your office? Are they always triaged by the nurse? Will they return my phone call within 24 hours?
- How are after hours phone calls handled? Do I receive a call from the on-call pediatrician or from a nurse line? Do you charge for after hours calls?
- What is your stance on breastfeeding? Bottle feeding?
- Do you have Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants in your practice? If so, how often do I see them versus the pediatrician?
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Was the office staff friendly, helpful, and professional?
- What was the wait time like?
- Was the waiting room clean?
- Did the doctor seem open to your questions?
- Did the communication feel natural?
Dallas Birth Doulas