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Q&A: Interviewing a pediatrician?

How can I find a good pediatrician? What questions should I ask when I interview them?

Re: How can I find a good pediatrician? What questions should I ask when I interview them?

The Bump Expert

You're smart to be thinking about interviews. Even if there’s only one name on your list of potential pediatricians (we recommend at least two), it’s a good idea to meet in person and learn about their practice and philosophy. Try to settle on a pediatrician by your seventh or eighth month to avoid waddling in and out of even more doctor’s offices during those last few weeks.

The best way to start your search:  Ask around -- your friends, family and OB are great sources for referrals. You can also find more real mom recommendations in our lila guide, or check the list of American Academy of Pediatrics members in your area. (Don't forget to run candidate names through your state's medical board to check for any disciplinary action.)

Once you’ve got a few names, it’s time to set up the interviews. You’ll probably only have about ten minutes for each, so ask the most important questions first. Remember, there are no “right” answers here- let your (baby-filled) gut be your guide.  

Basic Information

[   ] Doctor:

[   ] Practice:

[   ] Location:

[   ] Phone:

[   ] Email:

[   ] Website:

Ask the Doctor

[   ] How long have you been practicing?

[   ] Do you have any sub-specialties?

[   ] What are your hours? Do you offer evenings or weekends?

[   ] Do you offer same-day sick appointments? How far in advance do well appointments need to be scheduled?

[   ] What if my baby gets sick when the office is closed? Who covers in an emergency if you aren’t on call?

[   ] Is this a solo or group practice? If it’s solo, who covers when you are gone? If it’s a group, how often will we see you, and how often will we see other members?

[   ] Do you have separate sick and well waiting rooms?

[   ] Do you respond to questions by e-mail? Do you accept calls for routine and non-emergency questions? If I leave a message, how long does it usually take you to return the call?

[   ] Will your initial meeting with my baby be at the hospital or the first checkup? What is your schedule for well baby checkups?

[  ] Will you discuss my child’s general growth and issues like discipline and social development?

[   ] What are your views on… Bottle feeding? Circumcision? Parenting techniques? Getting babies to sleep? Alternative medicine? Antibiotics? Immunizations? Childhood obesity?

[   ] What hospitals do you work with?

[   ] Do you take my insurance? Is there an extra charge for…Advice calls during the day? Advice calls after hours? Medication refills? Filling out forms? Will any other fees apply?

[   ] What are your policies for insurance claims, lab policies, payments and billing?

[   ] What tests are handled in the office, and what is done elsewhere? Where?

Ask Yourself

[  ] Was the office clean?

[  ] Was the waiting room kid-friendly, with toys and books?

[  ] How soon could the interview be scheduled? How long were you in the waiting room?

[  ] Was the office staff helpful? Were the nurses friendly?

[  ] Was the interview rushed? Did the doctor seem open to questions?

[  ] Did the communication feel natural? Was the doctor easy to understand?

Paula Kashtan

Q&A: Interviewing a pediatrician?

Those are great tips. We're due in three weeks and just getting around to this super important detail. It was arbitrary in some ways but here is what we used for our criteria: younger (so their education would be modern), same sex as our child, convenient location (we visit a clinic with two pediatric clinics nearby so we started there), and we wanted our pediatrician to have younger children themselves. We plan to meet them all and try to find one that fits. I think there is a way to review their record to see if they've malpractice claims or anything like that so we will probably do that too.

HeatherLeeStuart |

Q&A: Interviewing a pediatrician?

I wish I would have asked in advance whether or not my pediatrician charges to fill out paperwork. I would have NEVER thought that they would charge me high fees to fill out my FMLA paperwork or to process my insurance paperwork. My newborn daughter has been to the pediatrician twice already, and I am just now finding out about the fees. Obviously I don't want to shop around for a new pediatrician, so this is just a warning for other mom's-to-be. Add 'fees' to your interview questions!

JKozlowski1300 |

Q&A: Interviewing a pediatrician?

I just started my pediatrican search this week and feel like I'm way behind the game! I'm due on November 15th (first time mom) and I've felt so overwhelmed with all the other details that I haven't even began to think about what to look for in a pediatrician! After doing a bit of research I found this article very helpful. Be sure to check it out if you're struggling in where to even get started in choosing a pediatrician like myself!

Navix |

Q&A: Interviewing a pediatrician?

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Q&A: Interviewing a pediatrician?

I would also add their willingness to let you meet 1 or more of the other physicians if it is a group practice. I went to one that my husband insisted was great because of a friend from work highly recommended them. I got such a bad taste from the interview, but placated my husband by agreeing that I would go back and meet with the other doctor who his friend swore by. The staff would not even schedule an appt even when I offered to pay. I told my hubby there was no way in hell I would go there. 6 months later, one of my mommy friends' 5 month old daughter was admitted to the emergency room with meningitis and had a horrible experience and ended up switching to the practice I ended up going with. Bottom line, trust your gut!

jdklein |

Q&A: Interviewing a pediatrician?

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ChungHee |

Q&A: Interviewing a pediatrician?

I actually have not looked around for a doctor im Due Jan 9, 2015 and a first time mom. I decided that i will be using my own pediatrician who was my doctor and my brothers doctor for us prob since we were lil kids up until we were 18. I trust this doctor and know him and his family very well. They happen to also be good family friends and have been friends with my parents for over 25 years. I told them of course they would be my childs doctor. I just had to convince my hubby they are about 20 mins away from where my hubby and I live.

Misha9 |