Many parents interview pediatricians before entrusting the health and care of their baby to the doctor. Like many relationships, good chemistry and common values and philosophies are integral to success.
First make sure your insurance company is going to pay for an interview appointment, or if the doctor charges for these appointments. Some common questions to consider are:
- Do you have hospital privileges at the hospital I plan to deliver at? If so, how often will you see my baby in the hospital?
- When do you normally first see a newborn in your office? How often do you normally see a baby in the 1st year for well visits?
- Are you pro-breastfeeding? The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, how do you support your mom’s to achieve this goal? If a mom is struggling what are your recommendations? How much continuing education have you done related to breastfeeding in the last 2 years?
- What is your vaccination schedule like? How many vaccines do you give per visit? What if I choose to alter the schedule ie: less shots per visit, or none?
- How many doctors, nurse practitioners are in your practice? What doctors cover your on call schedule?
- Do you have regular evening and Saturday hours?
- Does your practice have separate sick and well waiting areas? Separate sick/well exam rooms?
- Do you return calls personally? Is there a charge for phone consults?
- What are your feelings on antibiotic use and homeopathic medicine?
- What are your child rearing philosophies and what books do you recommend for new parents?
Friends, family, or your OB office can give great recommendations for pediatricians and if you find months or years down the road that the fit no longer works, don’t be afraid to move on to another. Never diminish the parental instinct you developed over the 9 months of growing your little precious bundle!
–Sheera Thomas, RN, C-Efm, CBC, CCE & mother of 4