One of the many things on your checklist during your pregnancy will be to choose a pediatrician for your child. Throughout the years, we have received many questions from our CBW families regarding pediatrician recommendations in the Triangle as well as what to look for and what questions to asks when choosing a pediatrician.
Here are some things to consider when choosing the pediatrician for your family:
Credentials: Check out the practice staff’s credentials.
Board Certified: Passed pediatric specific board-certifying exams
AAP: Member of American Academy of Pediatrics
FAAP: Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Practice size: Do you want an independent practice, a practice associated with a health system, a practice with 1 doctor, 5 doctors, what about physician assistants or nurse practitioners? Will your child see the same doctor or will they rotate? Size is extremely important to consider.
Office hours: What are the office hours? Are they open on Saturdays? Do they sick hours?
Specialty Services: Do you want a practice that has a Lactation Consultant available?
Location: This one is always important. Does location and distance from your home matter? Or from work or your child’s daycare? If so, what is your mile radius?
Medicine Practiced: Are you looking for a practice that is fairly standardized or would you prefer a practice that trends on alternative medicines and are open to a different vaccination schedule?
Office Layout: Is there one waiting area for sick kids and one waiting room for healthy kids? Is this important to you?
Once you get some of these decisions narrowed down you can pinpoint 3-5 practices you want to visit. A great thing to note is most pediatric practices have an evening once a month or so that you new parents can come in and meet the staff, while other practices schedule appointments for new parents to visit. These are always complimentary to potential families.
Common Questions for Pediatricians:
What is your pediatric background?
Do you have a subspecialty or area of pediatric interest? If so, what is it?
How do I reach you after hours or during an emergency?
To what hospital do you admit patients?
If I have a minor question, when is the best time to call?
If I cannot speak with you, who will handle my questions?
Is there anything you would like to know about my family?
How do you feel about breastfeeding or circumcision?
How do you feel about vaccines?
Do you utilize any developmental screenings? How do you monitor development?
Lastly, decide if you click. This really boils down to your intuition, trust it!