Interviewing a Pediatrician

t’s wonderful that you are taking the time to consider the characteristics and qualities that you consider important in choosing your baby’s pediatrician. Many parents arrange to interview a prospective pediatrician to be sure that the pediatrician’s philosophy and manner are compatible with their own.

A prenatal pediatric visit is strongly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other organizations, so that parents-to-be can meet the pediatrician, review any concerns or issues, and discuss plans for how the baby will be fed and cared for in the first few weeks, when the pediatrician will first meet the new baby, what baby equipment is recommended, what arrangements will be made for childcare if both parents work, and many other topics.

Some questions that may help you decide whether a pediatrician is the right doctor for you and your baby:
What is your education and training in pediatrics? This information may be on diplomas displayed in the office.
What books, pamphlets or other reading do you recommend for prospective parents, about child rearing, parenting, child health, or other topics?

When will you first see our baby, and how often will you see her for routine health checks and immunizations in the first year?

What are some of the common problems that new parents face, and how will you help us manage these problems?

What is your opinion about feeding an infant? About circumcision? Be sure the pediatrician’s opinion is compatible with your own.

Do you accept payment from my family’s insurance carrier, or my family’s health maintenance organization or other third party?

How will I know when to call your office? How will I know when our baby is sick or has a problem that you need to know about? How do I reach you — or another doctor who is covering for you — after hours?

Ask yourself if the doctor is warm? Informed? Approachable? Does this doctor have an interest in us as a family? Can I rely on this doctor’s judgment? It’s important that you feel comfortable with your pediatrician, so that your child and you get the most from his or her advice and expertise. Good luck to you and your new baby!