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Choosing a Pediatrician for Your Baby



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Pediatrician checking out a babyWhen interviewing pediatricians, be sure to ask about these topics:

Credentials

Are you board-certified in pediatrics? What is your educational background and residency training? 

Admitting privileges

Where are your hospital privileges? Will you be able to examine my baby in the hospital where I deliver? 

Your practice

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?

Philosophy

What is your opinion about breastfeeding, circumcision, medicating children, and alternative therapies? 

Communication

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?

Search the database of the American Academy of Pediatrics to find a pediatrician or a referral.

Appointments

Can I make same-day appointments? Do you have drop-in clinics? Do you have a separate waiting area for sick and well children?

Payment policies

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?

Insurance

In which managed-care programs do you participate? Does your office process insurance forms?

Referrals

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

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