Whether you are a new mom or a seasoned pro, finding a new pediatrician can be hard. Here's a list of eight questions to get you started.
1. What are your hours?
If you work full-time, an office that is open strictly from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. probably won't work with your schedule, especially for well-baby check-ups. Look for an office that is open late one night or has Saturday availability.
2. What are your policies on vaccines?
Every state has a recommended schedule for childhood vaccinations. If you have questions about the schedule or want to space the vaccines further out, be sure your pediatrician is willing to accommodate your wishes.
3. What are your policies on sick children?
While every pediatrician will see sick children, some have specific times set aside for their care.
4. What are your fees and insurance policies?
You need to know if your insurance is accepted. Furthermore, you need to understand what fees, if any, will not be covered by your insurance policy.
5. Who will my child be seeing on your team?
Some pediatricians see every patient, every time. Others have nurse practitioners that see patients for annual check-ups while they focus on patients with more pressing medical issues. This is perfectly acceptable, of course, but it may not be what you personally want in a pediatrician.
6. Do you have any experience with special needs children?
If you have a special needs child or a child on the autism spectrum, you may want to find a pediatrician that has additional training or experience in this area.
7. What are your policies on sibling visits?
As a busy parent with multiple children, you may find yourself juggling multiple balls at once. If you can schedule two or more well-child check-ups at the same time, it can help tremendously. Some pediatricians, however, prefer to focus on one patient at a time.
8. What are your parenting philosophies?
Your goal here is to see if the pediatrician's personal views line up with yours in the areas of breastfeeding, co-sleeping, weaning, discipline, and a whole host of other topics. Your experience will be better long-term if you and your pediatrician see eye-to-eye.
In conclusion, these are only a few of the questions you may want to ask when looking for a new pediatrician. The important thing is to find someone who you feel comfortable with and who you feel will be a good fit for your family.