At around seven or eight months pregnant, you might want to start thinking about finding a pediatrician. Ask your friends in the neighborhood, do some Googling and figure out a few great LOCAL practices as a starting point (close is key, mama). Even if the practice has a bunch of rotating docs who you’ll end up seeing at different times, just meeting one will give you a sense of the vibe, the philosophy, and so on. You can also check the American Academy of Pediatrics for some local options, and if you’re feeling suuper type-A, check out your state’s medical board to make sure your picks have a clean slate before going in.
Once there, take stock of the waiting room. Is it clean? Are there toys sitting around? How does it smell? Were the nurses nice, or not so much? How far out did you have to book? These little details are a big indicator of how your regular routine will be moving forward. As for the pediatricians themselves, you should get a sense of their vibe pretty quickly. But for the more practical stuff, we put together a handy guide for the types of questions you should ask during your meeting. Peep ‘em below:
- How long has this practice been in business and how long have you been practicing?
- What are your hours and how does the practice function on weekends?
- Do you offer same-day sick visits? What happens when my child is sick while the office is closed?
- How far out do I need to book well visits?
- How do you handle emergencies?
- Do you respond to questions on email? How is information passed to you and what’s the average waiting time for you to get back to me?
- Is this a solo or group practice, and if so, how do you handle the times you’re not working?
- Will our first check-up take place at the hospital? How does that work?
- What are you views on bottle vs. breast, sleep-training? Discipline? Alternative medicine? Immunizations?
- Which hospital do you work with?
- Which insurance do you take and what are your claims policies and billing?
- How do you handle additional testing and is it done in office?