Questions to Ask a Pediatrician
Having a baby is a huge responsibility. There are so many decisions that must be made. One such decision is selecting the best pediatrician for your newborn. It’s important to take the time to research a couple of pediatricians and to make sure you are comfortable with your choice. Before baby arrives, call each pediatrician’s practice and make an appointment to get to know the doctor. Many pediatricians offer special consultation time for new parents. Some charge money for these sessions – others do not.
Check out the office staff. Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for your consultation and watch how the staff is handling office matters during that time. A well-rounded impression of the office, the staff and the doctor will help you make the best decision.
When meet with the pediatrician you should come prepared with questions to ask. Here are a few to consider:
- How long is the average wait to see a doctor once we’ve arrived for our appointment?
- Do you have a list of health insurance plans that you accept?
- At which hospital do you have privileges?
- How soon after the baby is born will you be available for a visit?
- How does it work if the baby is hospitalized in an emergency?
- How long in advance do appointments have to be made?
- Do your office hours accommodate working parents?
- How do you handle out-of-hours coverage?
- How much time do you schedule for a well-baby checkup? (Should be at least half an hour to allow time to answer your questions)
After you’ve conducted your interviews, don’t be afraid to say “No” to a doctor if you feel you are not a good fit. You can also switch doctors once the baby is born if you are not satisfied after the first two or three visits. Make sure you keep asking questions if you do not understand what the doctor is doing. Going to the doctor is not a one-way street. You and your insurance company are paying for his time and you deserve to be able to ask questions and to expect the best possible treatment.