One of the most important decisions you will make during pregnancy is choosing a pediatrician. You should begin the search a few months before the baby is due, and try making a decision during your last trimester of pregnancy.
You can get recommendations from your family, friends, childbirth educator or birth attendant. If you have an HMO that provides you with a network of pediatricians, speak to others in your plan.
It is a good idea to schedule several introductory visits before choosing a pediatrician, who should be certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. Some physicians will charge for this introductory visit, some will not.
Below is a checklist of some items to consider:
Staff & Office
- Is the office staff friendly and helpful?
- Is the office conveniently located?
- Do the office hours accommodate your needs?
- How long would you typically wait for an office visit?
- Is the office clean (given that children have been in it all day)?
Meeting the Physician
- How do you reach the doctor after hours?
- Who covers for the doctor when he or she is away?
- How much are office visits?
- Does the doctor accept your insurance plan?
- Where is the doctor affiliated, and is the hospital location convenient for you?
The Doctor-Patient Relationship
- Does the doctor answer your questions patiently and clearly?
- Does the doctor take a let-me-handle-everything attitude or include you in medical decision making? Which style do you prefer?
- How does the doctor handle telephone questions?
- Will your doctor visit the baby in the hospital at birth?
- Does the doctor support your choice of infant feeding? Your child-care and work plans? Or other issues concerning your baby's care?
- Do you feel comfortable with this doctor caring for your baby? (Trust your instincts.)
For more information on Holy Redeemer's pediatricians call 1-800-818-4747.