Choosing a pediatrician can be very daunting. You likely want a doctor who will answer every one of your questions with patience and understanding, someone who shares similar parenting philosophies as you, and someone you feel cares about you and your kids. The right pediatrician for you may not be the right pediatrician for someone else. Unless you already know someone, where do you start? And what criteria do you use to decide? Here are some helpful tips.
The best place to start is by asking your local experts – friends, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers, particularly those with kids and who share a similar outlook on life. You can also ask your OBGYN, your hospital, or your birthing center. The American Academy of Pediatrics also offers referrals on its website.
Make sure the pediatrician is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP). When given recommendations, remember to ask why a particular pediatrician is or is not being recommended. A personal recommendation is very valuable, but each patient has different criteria for their choice.
Once you have some recommendations and have reviewed the website, check to make sure your options are covered by your insurance. Then make appointments to interview the clinic and doctor(s). It is helpful to build a relationship before your baby is born if possible. Prepare a list of questions prior to the interview to ensure you don’t forget anything and to equally compare options. Here are a couple of questions to ask.
It is important to not only find someone who is qualified and knows their stuff, but someone YOU trust. A good doctor knows how to put you at ease and interact successfully with your child. If you choose a doctor before your child is born, and you later decide you are not happy with that doctor, know you can always change. It is important to have a doctor you can rely on and be comfortable with.
How did you find your pediatrician? Do you have any additional tips to help make your choice?