Choosing A Pediatrician

Baby is on the way and now you must choose a pediatrician for her. In this article you will find sample questions to ask the doctor and tips to help you decide.

Around your sixth to eighth month or pregnancy you should begin shopping around for a pediatrician. You are looking for the person who will provide medical care for your child for at least twelve years. This is an important decision not to be taken lightly.

The first thing you should do is to make a list of doctors to interview. Refer to your insurance provider list if you have one. If you don't have insurance then just make a list from the yellow pages. Begin calling to set up an interview appointment with each doctor. Try to make them at times when both you and baby's father can attend (or whomever may also be a primary caregiver).

Now you need to write down a list of questions to ask the doctor. Here are some ideas to get you started.

How do you feel about breastfeeding? Giving formula? Supplemental water and juice?

How often do you schedule well baby check ups?

Do you have someone else who covers for you when you are out/not on call?

How do you feel about circumcision? (if you are having a boy)

Do you believe in any forms of herbal/natural medicine?

Which shots, that are not required, do you recommend and why?

How many patients do you see per day? How much time is allotted per patient?

Do you have a regular nurse that will always be attending my child? Meet him/her too if you can.

Can you do any cultures/tests in the office or is everything sent to a lab?

Are you available by phone for advice? Office hours only - or weekends as well?

Will he/she be the one present at the hospital should there be a c-section or other emergency?

Is there any birthing/parenting classes they strongly recommend for new parents to be?

Do you foresee moving or retirement in the next ten years?

These are a few guidelines to get you thinking about what is important to you. Include anything else you think is relevant or any specific medical concerns to your family (i.e. asthma).

Confirm with them that they do accept your insurance and are affiliated with the hospital of your choice. (Sometime doctors can lose their affiliations and not be allowed to practice medicine inside the hospital.)

Go online and search a doctors database (use your search engine to find one for your state) and make sure that they have a clean record. You can also call the state department to see if they have had any action taken against them.

Above all - chose someone that you are comfortable with because if you don't like the doctor it will be even more of a traumatic experience for your child.

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