When we picked out pediatrician we came up with a list of questions to ask the three we were interviewing. We had talked to friends and family about what was important in a doctor and we discussed what we wanted in a person.
Some of the things that we were looking for were:
- a doctor who has kids him/herself so they could relate to how we were feeling and what we were thinking
- a doctor with a good reputation and good credentials
- a doctor with a friendly comfortable demeanor
- a doctor that was accessible
Those were just a few of the qualities we were looking for. Some of the things we asked or researched about the doctors were:
- When and where did the pediatrician complete medical school and residency?
- How long has the pediatrician been in practice?
- What hospitals does the pediatrician have privileges at? We were looking for them to have privileges at one specific hospital.
- How soon after the baby is born will the pediatrician come to see it at the hospital?
- Is there a line at the office that I can call if I have a “new mom” question?
- What are the office hours and are there any early morning or late evening hours?
- How long in advance must you book appointments?
- Can you get in the same day if you need a sick visit?
- Is there a specific time during the day that the doctor will take phone calls, and how does the office handle your phone-in questions?
- How does the office deal with after-hours emergencies?
- Is there a 24-hour answering service that can connect you to a doctor?
- Who covers for the doctor when he/she is on vacation?
- What books does the doctor recommend for new parents to read?
- What are the doctor’s views on: sleep, vaccines, breastfeeding and other philosophies
- Is there a lactation consultant in the office?
A big question is this:
Does the pediatrician accept our insurance? We checked this before we set up the interviews.
We didn’t ask these questions all at once and many of them we didn’t ask at all because we found the answers to the questions on the doctor’s website or through the packet of information they gave us while we waited for the appointment.
This process was really good for us because we didn’t know where to start when picking a doctor for our baby. We met with three people and two of the three we really liked. I would have been disappointed if we picked the doctor(the one we didn’t like) and had nothing to compare it to.