I have a question for all those mom and pop Straight Dopers out there. My wife and I are in the process of choosing a pediatrician for our soon to be born son ( He is due end of January or beginning of February ) and I was just wondering if there were any guidelines any of you may have used to pick the right doc for your little boy or girl. Any info as far as what to look for, what to look out for, what kind of questions to ask, and whether or not any pre baby interviewing is even necessarry would be appreciated…
We interviewed about 5 pediatricians before our first child was born. Although we had never raised a child up to that point, we had some definite ideas as to what we were looking for. Use the same criteria that you would for picking out a doctor for you. For example, a pediatrician may be popular with your friends, but is his/her office always crowded? Is it hard to get an appointment? Will the doctor work your child into the schedule for an emergency? How quickly will he respond to your messages? Who covers for the doctor on weekends and vacations? Is the doctor very agressive in his treatments, or more laid back? How does he relate to you? In which hospitals does he/she have privliges?Make sure that you cover insurance questions as well.
Since you’re looking for advice rather than hard facts, I’ll move this thread to IMHO.
Knighted Vorpal Sword has hit the high points. The office staff and office “culture” is as important if not more than the actual doctor. We have been using the same practice for 6 years. In that time there has been a complete turnover of all the doctors but we still love it because they have always maintained their culture of not rushing, being sympathetic, having a person not a menu answer the phone and generally treating patients and parents like human beings.
Lots of pregnancy and baby care books have a list of questions to ask doctors. It’s probably not so important exactly what you ask (though ask about what is important to you!) as having an opportunity to form a gut feeling about the doctor and the office.
Definitely DO interview! Even with insurance this is a place you will spend a fair chunk of change. Even with a very healthy baby this is a place you will spend a fair amount of time. And most important this is the place that will help you care for the health of you most precious little one.
Congratulations on the coming baby!