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Shopping for a Pediatrician is best done before your child is born!

May 9, 2012

When I was going through our pre-baby check list I stumbled upon the “finding a pediatrician” step.  I did some research and discovered a few Pediatricians in our area and called them to make an appointment.  When choosing your child’s doctor, a big factor to decide first is whether you want to go to a big multi-doctor practice or a small practice with a few doctors practicing.  We ended going to three places to interview each Pediatrician and tour the office to get a feel for everything.  We went to each place with a list of general questions we wanted to ask the Pediatrician, as well as their staff.

The first thing when you are shopping for a Pediatrician is to observe their office staff and nurses, note the feeling you get when you arrive and throughout your visit.  This is so important because it shows you the level of happiness within the office environment that will be passed onto your baby each visit (as you’ll be there lots!).  I ended up terminating my relationship my OB doctors’ office after I had D because I was sick of the service I received from the front office staff each time I was there.  I gave them plenty of chances but the straw that broke the camels back was when I was trying to get my IUD covered by insurance.  They never returned my phone calls and kept ignoring me, so I got nowhere really fast!  So, eventually I had enough and told them that I was leaving due to their grumpy front office staff, found a wonderful new place and LOVE it!!  So the nurses and office staff make all the difference in the world, in my opinion.  When calling to make our initial interview appointment I also noted how I was treated on the phone, the wait time, how many buttons I had to press to reach a real human being, etc.

(Side note: During our very first visit after D was born we had a few minor insurance issues and with all my crazy hormones I got really flustered and started crying to the office personnel because I was so confused and frustrated over everything.  But the ladies in the office helped explain what steps I had to take and that it was no big deal.  They didn’t make me feel dumb by being all flustered by things and quickly helped me feel better.  The situation could have been a lot worse but they were so kind about assuring me things were OK!  It’s these small things that make all the difference in the long run and I’m so thankful for our choice of doctors’ office.) 

Second, is to make sure you know before hand your views regarding vaccines, circumcision (if applicable), breastfeeding, medicine use, attachment parenting, etc., so you can have a conversation with the Pediatrician about these topics during the interview.  If you don’t see eye to eye on your top issues then it’s best not to waste each others time and move onto the next doctors office.  The last thing you want to be doing after your baby is born is stressing about finding the right Pediatrician for your family.

Lastly, go through your list of Pediatricians and weight the pro’s and con’s of each and talk it over with your significant other.  Then once you’ve decided, jot down their information so you have it when you’re at the hospital.  Most Pediatricians don’t do hospital visits anymore but the hospital will contact the office regarding the new arrival so they know.  After you are discharged from the hospital you will be instructed to make an appointment with the Pediatrician to do a post-hospital check up.

In the end, we were glad that we did our research before D arrived so we had one less thing to worry about once he arrived.  Not all people research their child’s doctor before hand but it’s in each new parents best interest to do so.  What have you got to loose?  It’s also the cheapest thing that you’ll do when preparing for baby compared to all the other purchases you’ll be making!  😉

Please feel free to post below your personal experiences or things you’ve learned about finding the right Pediatrician for your child(ren).  🙂

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