One of the boxes that you will need to check during your pregnancy is to find the perfect pediatrician for when the babies arrive. While some people are referred to a practice by their obstetrician, others will be more discerning and want to choose for themselves.
In this guide, we offer a plan for finding a great pediatrician and some important questions to ask.
Step 1: Start your list
The first step is to start compiling a list of potential providers for your babies. This can be done by asking other moms, looking at online resources and talking to your OB/GYN. Once you have a list of potential doctors you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Do your homework
Once you have your list of names its time to start doing a little digging. In this step you will use a few resources and do a little looking into each potential doctor. With websites like Health Grades and Vitals.com you can do everything from check where a doctor earned their medical degree to read extensive patient reviews.
Another important part of this step is to talk to moms in your area. While you might have asked them for names in step 1, asking about doctors reputations is an important part of step 2. Perhaps the doctors online reviews are good but several moms note how hard it is to make an appointment. This is very important information.
Step 3: Schedule a time to meet the doctors
Many moms-to-be skip this important step, but it should not be overlooked. Most pediatricians are happy to meet with expectant moms for an “interview.” They will only be able to offer a few minutes out of their busy schedule but these doctors know that having a rapport with new parents is important. Once you have your short list of names, give the office a call and ask about scheduling a brief time to meet the doctor.
Step 4: Ask questions
When you meet with your babies potential doctor, there are a number of important questions to ask. Some lists will suggest asking things like any sub=specialties, office hours, other doctors in the practice and logistical questions. These are things you can find out in step 2 and can save some time to ask the important questions. The best kinds of questions to ask are things like:
- What is the philosophy of your practice?
- What tests are handled in the office?
- Do you respond to questions through e-mail?
- Do you offer same-day sick visits?
- What is your schedule for baby well visits?
- How do you treat twins differently than singletons?
Step 5: Making your decision
In the end, you will probably have a good sense of who the right fit is for your family and your babies. In the early weeks and months, you will work very closely with your pediatrician so having a good rapport is key.
Follow these important steps and you will be on your way to finding the perfect provider for your babies.