Picking a Pediatrician
When picking a pediatrician there are a number of things you need to think about.
What kind of practice?
- Solo practitioner
- Group practice
- Practice that has a pediatric nurse practitioner
Is this the right doctor for you?
- Hospital Affiliations
- Where the pediatrician admits patients to.
- Board-certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics?
- Office location
- Is the office someplace easily accessible to you?
- Office hours
- Are the hours convenient for your schedule?
- Is the staff responsive to their patients?
- Look for an area that will make waiting more comfortable for you and your baby. Are sick children separated from those that are seen for well visits?
- Waiting Time
- Find out from the receptionist how long the wait times are for patients and reconcile this with your schedule.
- Protocol for taking phone queries
- How does your doctor handle phone calls? For example, some may have a call-in time during which they answer questions.
- How are emergencies handled?
- Exactly how does the doctor handles emergencies? Some have you go straight to the emergency room, others instruct you to come to their office.
- Financial Matters
- Different offices offer different forms for payment. Some may bill you and some may expect payment at the time of the visit. If you have insurance, check to see whether or not this physician accepts your plan.
- You need to find a provider who fits your style. Do you want someone who is easygoing and laid back or one who is very formal? One who welcomes your input or one who takes charge?
- You should find a provider who agrees with you on the major issues such as breastfeeding, preventative medicine, circumcision and feeding schedules
Once you settle on a doctor you should call, many physicians offer a courtesy prenatal interview. Some insurance also cover a prenatal visit to the pediatrician. You need to call your insurance provider to see what the protocol is.