Pediatrics 101: How to find the right doctor for your baby
You’ve agonized over paint color options for the baby’s nursery, and spent hours debating baby names with your partner, but have you taken the time to choose a pediatrician? With the anticipation for your baby’s arrival at a fever pitch, many couples forget to search for a qualified pediatrician for their baby.
Other than you and your partner, your child’s pediatrician is the most important influence in making decisions for your child’s health. Treat your search like you would treat a prospective employee interview.
Here are some important questions to ask a potential pediatrician:
What is your availability? Finding out your pediatrician’s accessibility is crucial. You want your baby’s doctor to be engaged and available if an emergency arises. You will also want to know if they are taking new patients. Be sure to ask:
- What are your office hours?
- Who covers an emergency call if you are not available?
- Are same-day appointments usually available?
- If there is something wrong with my baby, are you available on e-mail or over the phone?
- Will you see my baby in the hospital?
What is your professional background? While you primarily should focus on the things that directly impact your child’s care, it’s perfectly understandable that you want to know more about a pediatrician’s background. There’s a fine line between asking thoughtful questions and becoming too nosy when it comes to your candidate’s background! Here are some example questions that any pediatrician should be able to answer.
- Do you have children of your own?
- Do you have any specialized training?
- What is your childcare philosophy?
- How long do check-ups usually take?
What are your payment options? Find a doctor whose services match your finances. While everyone knows raising a child is expensive, you don’t want to unnecessarily burden yourself because you didn’t pay attention to the fine print. Consider asking:
- What are your payment policies?
- Do you take my insurance?
- What kind of charges should I expect from lab tests?
- How do you handle insurance claims?
Remember, when your baby enters the big world, you won’t be able to protect him or her from every little thing. Your pediatrician is there to protect your blind spots. Find a pediatrician who matches your beliefs, character and personality.
HealthONE is the region’s largest healthcare provider with dozens of locations offering pediatric services from qualified pediatricians. We have all the resources and expertise you want to take care of your baby from pregnancy and beyond.