As parents, we want what’s best for our kids. I was lucky enough to have, in my opinion, the best pediatrician around! A few months ago, we moved to a new city, and I didn’t know what I was going to do without our beloved pediatrician! I wanted someone just as good, just as knowledgeable and just as personable.
I know, I know – wishful thinking. Excellent doctors that you can’t do without are kind of hard to come by. And so, my search began.
Most doctors’ offices or pediatric offices offer a free consultation where you can go in, meet with a specific doctor (or two) to ask questions, see how they would fit with your needs, and talk about anything you would like to know regarding their office. Just call up an office, and ask if they do “mom-consult” visits; their answer will most likely be yes. Consults typically don’t cost anything – and if they do, that’s something you need to take into consideration.
Don’t be afraid to set up consultations with as many doctors, offices, nurses as you want. Obviously, you want the best fit for your needs, family, and child. I recently did 3 consultations – 2 of which were at the same office.
Questions to Ask a Potential Pediatrician
- How many doctors/nurse practitioners/PA’s practice here?
- What are your hours? After hours/urgent care?
- Do you have special evening/weekend/holiday hours?
- Will there always be someone on call in case my child(ren) need to be seen at say, 2am?
- Are there any sister-offices associated with this one?
- What is your hospital affiliation?
- What types of insurance do you take?
- Do you offer same-day sick appointments/sick-child holds?
- What type of equipment do you have at your office – xray, lab, etc?
- Are immunizations offered at the clinic?
- How many years have you been in the Pediatric practice? (some doctors will even tell you where their residency was)
- How is the inter-doctor communication (meaning, are all the doctors involved in helping provide the best care possible?)
- Do you (or affiliates) have any experience dealing with specialties, like disabilities, or other special needs? (most doctors will tell you what they enjoy the most, and about any care they’ve given related)
- Would you be able to explain medical diagnosis to me in “Laman’s terms” so I will be able to understand what is going on?
- Are the toys/books/tables cleaned and sanitized often?
- What types of things do you check on a well-baby/child visit?
- How do you handle transferring records?
- What if my child needs to be seen by a specialist as well?
- When my baby is born, will you be able to be her pediatrician when she is born? (A pediatrician isn’t necessary to have before your child is born, but if you do have one, they are able to come do the check ups on your baby while they are IN the hospital after birth)
Other Things to Look for/Observe
- How does the doctor treat you? Your children?
- Are the front desk staff and nurses friendly?
- How big/busy is the office?
- Do they offer you a pamphlet, brochure, or additional information?
- Do you feel comfortable there? Do your children?
It is so great that there are Pediatricians out there who care about the well-being of your child(ren). Did you know that to study and practice in pediatrics, it requires additional years of special schooling? That means they have a special love for children.
If you still aren’t finding a pediatrician that’s right for you, give your old one a call. Doctors often have great networks and can recommend someone or even just a place to start looking. Ask your neighbors or the other moms at playgroup. Read up on the doctors at the offices on their websites.
Good luck and stay healthy!