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Interviewing a Pediatrician
When you are pregnant, I’m sure finding a pediatrician is not the first thing on your mind. It certainly wasn’t mine! And I definitely did not know what questions to ask when choosing a pediatrician.
Finding the right pediatrician to care for your new baby can seem like a big task. But it’s definitely something you want to do before the baby comes. You want to find someone who has the same philosophies and beliefs that you have when it comes to taking care of your baby’s health.
It’s also a good idea to feel comfortable with the doctor so you won’t hesitate in asking questions when you are unsure about a treatment. A mother’s instincts are strong when it comes to your child. Understanding why a pediatrician is giving a certain treatment or diagnosis is important.
Since you have likely not been through the process of interviewing a pediatrician before, here are some great questions to ask before you pick one.
Are they accepting new patients? This is obviously important before you go much further. It would be horrible to find a great fit for a pediatrician and find out that they are not accepting new patients.
Do they accept your insurance? Just like the above question – these are the first two you want answered so you don’t waste your time.
How many pediatricians are with the practice? I have found that most practices have multiple pediatricians. The nice thing about this is you don’t have to decide on an exact pediatrician before the baby is born.
How do you choose your primary care pediatrician? With practices that have several pediatricians, it’s important to understand how you will determine which will become your primary care. At my children’s practice, we had the first few appointments with different pediatricians so we could get a feel for each. Then we decided after that.
What is the background/education of the pediatricians?
What are the office hours? Do they offer any weekend hours? Weekend hours are such a bonus for a pediatricians office. Also having any extended hours during the week helps too. It saves you the trip, and co-pay, from going to the emergency room if your baby gets sick later in the day or on weekends.
What hospital are they affiliated with? It helps to know which hospital your pediatrician is affiliated with so that medical information can be shared more easily.
Do they offer sick appointments? Sick appointments are huge for babies and young kids. These are appointments you can make for the same day and get seen by a doctor.
Do they have doctors on call? Having an on call doctor is helpful when you have a question after hours. When you are a new parent, you will likely have more questions.
What is their stance on vaccinations?
Is the office clean?
Now that you have all the questions to ask when choosing a pediatrician, you may be wondering how you go about getting them answered.
The first couple regarding acceptance of new patients and insurance can be answered either with a phone call or email.
A lot of pediatrician offices hold information nights for prospective new patients. This presents a great opportunity to get your questions answered, get to take a look at the office and meet some of the pediatricians in person. It’s a great way to get a first impression.
While finding a doctor may seem like a tough task, knowing the questions to ask a pediatrician before choosing one is a great start!
Check out these other helpful articles for new moms or moms-to-be!