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How do I find a good pediatrician?

What are some tips for finding the right pediatrician for baby?

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What are some tips for finding the right pediatrician for baby?

The Bump Expert

First and foremost: ask around. Good old-fashioned of word of mouth is probably the best way to find a great doctor. No matter what medical school a pediatrician graduated from, it really all boils down to patients' reports. You can't go wrong by asking your friends and family for advice in this department -- you’ll be sure to get an honest answer and a valued recommendation from someone.

Also try calling up your insurance company to get a list of doctors in your area that accept your plan. Once you've got a list of possible candidates, verify that your top choices are members of the American Academy of Pediatrics. That means they'll be up to date on the latest developments in child health.

Before you start making some phone calls and setting up consultations (don’t worry, they’re usually free), check out our Interviewing a Pediatrician Checklist. Some things to consider: What are their hours? Is the waiting room kid-friendly? Do they have any sub-specialties? Do their views on bottlefeeing or vaccinations align with yours? A round of interviews will weed the bad ones from the good, and you should have yourself a good doctor in no time. And don't stress too much about it! It's easy to get worked up about all the details and decision leading up to baby's arrival, but keep in mind that nothing is irreversible. If it turns out later that the pediatrician you picked isn't quite working out, you'll simply find a new one and move on.

Here's how Bumpies made the final decision on their own pediatricians:

"We wanted a clinic that had more than one doctor, that was affiliated with good hospitals in the area, and that had emergency hours and after-hours lines. We also went with a man because we hope that he will be our pediatrician for our son's entire childhood." -- ValerieGP

"I liked that their office had a 'sick' entrance and a 'well' entrance so my healthy baby didn't have to hang out amidst the germs." -- Jazibel

"The building where I see my OB is a satellite facility of the hospital at which I delivered, so it has pediatricians, specialities, urgent care, etc. It's so convenient to have so much in one local building, so we're going with their pediatrics practice." -- ball.and.chain

"I attended a series of Baby Prep 101 classes through my hospital, and one of the handouts they gave had a list of local pediatricians to contact." -- ATC282

"I looked for a doctor who aligned with my health beliefs. He's a traditional pediatrician but doesn't jump to antibiotics, and he's a big proponent of exclusive breastfeeding." -- herbabymama

Plus, more from The Bump:

Signs You Should Break Up With Your Baby's Pediatrician

Baby's First Year Checkup

Checklist: First Prenatal Checkup Questions

Paula Kashtan

I help docs get the medical licenses. I agree to ask family and friends their opinions, but also check with the medical board that they are licensed in. Usually, you can find out if they still have a clear/active license, if there have been any malpractices or disciplinary actions. Just remember that just because someone has malpractice doesn't mean that it was their fault. Sometimes a patient will get upset with the doc and make a complaint.

1jm_cotton |

Most metropolitan areas have a magazine where they list the best doctors each year. For example, New York magazine has a list of the best doctors by specialty and if you look online you can search by hospital affiliation or geographical area.

asmith1908 |

1) Ask your OB for recommendations 2) Double-check those covered by your insurance 3) In major metro areas, such as Washington DC, there is usually a survey of area doctors on who they would go to or take their family to. In Washington DC, this is conducted yearly by the Washingtonian magazine. 4) Healthgrades.com If you find a Peditrician that ends up on all four lists, and you get good feedback on them from family/friends, then set up an interview to see if your parenting style and personality is complimented with that of the doctor.

tastoner |

did anyone notice that this short little article has a lot misspellings? I'm an English teacher, that is just awful.

ASquaredCubed |

Sometimes typing mistakes happen. I am going to assume that about your little statement there as well, English teacher.

klkeyser03 |

mispelling something in a published article where your claiming to be an expert is a little bit different than paraphrasing in a comment. i'm the worst speller i know but i think we should expect some sort of standard in certain situations don't you?

audndonny |

Perhaps we should all stop bellyaching about spelling errors and focus on answering the originial question so that people out there can get a little advice :)

drjenntripp |

what if you insurance is changing and you do not know what the insurance will be yet?When do you have to interview them? How many weeks?

ehagan28 |

As a pediatrician, I would recommend giving a call over to the office and scheduling to meet and interview the doctor(s). My office at www.hatboropediatrics.com takes the time to get to know the parents and sort out questions during your pregnancy. We serve the Bucks and Montgomery County region in Pennsylvania and I have been giving advice to many new and experienced parents along the way. You need to ensure that your pediatrician is listening. Since I created my own practice, Hatboro Pediatrics, I have been able to provide the type of care to families that I have come to expect...personalized and compassionate. Best Regards, Dr. Jennifer Coren

drjcoren |

We live in the Baltimore area, we were expecting to move down to Suitland but now it looks like we'll be here a bit longer---I have no references for pediatricians as I don't live here and my docs aren't very good at talking to me about my high-risk pregnancy, let alone asking them for pediatrician recommendations....... anyone from around here have any ideas or suggestions?

meque183 |