Secrets to choosing the best pediatrician for your family.
When we were expecting our first child, choosing a great pediatrician was high on our list. Finding a pediatrician who made my husband comfortable with the care for our children (he is a pediatric oncologist) was THE priority for us.
This is my husband, Wayne. I pray you will never have to consider him as your doctor. However, as a board-certified Pediatrician, he is very VERY picky about pediatricians. I feel good about sharing our pediatrician picking process with you and I hope it is helpful!
Here are our secrets for choosing the best pediatrician for YOUR family when you are expecting a newborn:
Get recommendations from friends & family, the internet, etc. but don’t stop here.
Call 2 or 3 of the recommended clinics that are covered by your insurance and see if they offer tours, meet and greets for expecting parents, or expectant parent appointment with the doctors. You can tell from calling the clinic how responsive they are with phone calls, which is important when you have a sick baby at home.
When you go in person (definitely go in person!), get a sense of how you feel about the clinic, and whether the families in the waiting room seem happy with the place.
Does the clinic have “sick child” & “healthy child” sections in the waiting room? The last thing you want is for your 2 week old infant to get a cold by sitting in the “sick” side of the waiting room.
Does the practice do rounds in the nursery in the hospital where you will be delivering the baby, and if so, whether it will be your personal doctor or a partner who's on call. It's okay if they don't round at that hospital (another pediatrician will see your baby in the hospital for them), but it's really nice if they do.
Find out how easy it is to get an appointment with your main doctor, or if you will on occasion see other doctors for sick visits or even regular check ups.
Find out about their vaccination policy and whether you agree with it.
Do they offer an evening or weekend clinics, or an after hours answering service for questions in the middle of the night. Children get sick at pretty inconvenient times so this is a biggie.
Finally, and most importantly, after meeting with the potential doctors, think about who listened to your concerns the best and you feel would respect your intuition as a parent.
I am going to repeat number 9 because I (Bindu) think it is SO important- Your child’s health is worth finding a pediatrician who really listens to you and that you can trust.
BONUS tip: Find out if there are any pediatric urgent care clinics in the area that offer after-hours care when your pediatrician’s office is closed but it doesn’t seem like it’s an Emergency-Room worthy illness. If there is an urgent care clinic that specifically treats children, that is a good option (unlike adult urgent care centers which are not great for kids). Here in Birmingham, the one we use is https://childrensurgent.com/ . They are staffed by pediatricians and pediatrics-trained nurse practitioners, many of whom used to work at Children's and take insurance.
Contact me if you have any questions! Bindu
Bindu is a Birmingham AL newborn photographer and loves creating newborn, baby and family portraits that you will treasure forever. Book a session with her today!