Choosing a Pediatrician for Your Baby
When interviewing pediatricians, be sure to ask about these topics:
Are you board-certified in pediatrics? What is your educational background and residency training?
Where are your hospital privileges? Will you be able to examine my baby in the hospital where I deliver?
What are your office hours? Do you have weekend hours? Do you work alone? If not, what are the qualifications of the other doctors in your practice? Do you have a Nurse Practitioner on staff? Is emergency coverage available 24-7?
What is your opinion about breastfeeding, circumcision, medicating children, and alternative therapies?
Do you return phone calls and emails personally? Is there a nurse in the office who can answer routine questions? Who handles phone calls when the office is closed or during vacations?
Can I make same-day appointments? Do you have drop-in clinics? Do you have a separate waiting area for sick and well children?
What are typical fees for sick visits, routine examinations, and immunizations? Do you charge for telephone consultations? Do you expect payment at the time of the visit?
In which managed-care programs do you participate? Does your office process insurance forms?
If my child is born with special needs or develops a complex illness, will you make referrals to specialists and coordinate care among all the doctors providing treatment?
Sources: HealthyChildren.org; 2010 Favorite Kids’ Docs testimonials at njfamily.com