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10 Things to Look for When Selecting Your Baby's Doctor



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pregnant woman searching for doctor

Thought about choosing a doctor for baby yet? Of course you’ll want to consider the basics, like her credentials (board-certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics) and whether she accepts your insurance, but you’ll also want to think about the less-obvious, like whether her bedside manner and waiting room are up to snuff.

Start your research early and be sure to consider the following:

ADMITTING PRIVILEGES

Will the doctor be able to examine your baby in the hospital where you deliver?

OFFICE HOURS

How difficult is it to get a same-day appointment? 
What’s the policy for weekend and evening appointments?

THE PRACTICE

Is it a solo or group practice?
If it’s solo, who covers when the doctor is not available? If it’s a group, ask about the other doctors’ qualifications.

PHILOSOPHY

Is she a good listener?

How does she feel about breastfeeding, circumcision, alternative therapies or any other issue important to you?

THE OFFICE

How much time is allotted for appointments?

Will you see the doctor during each visit, or a pediatric nurse practitioner?

What’s the office staff like?

COMMUNICATION

Does the doctor use email to communicate with patients?

How quickly will she respond if you have reached the answering service?

Is there an extra charge for phone consultations?

WAITING ROOM

Are there separate waiting areas for sick and well children?

Are they clean, bright, pleasant and safe for babies?

EMERGENCIES

In case of emergency, where will your child be referred?

Who will provide care?

REFERENCES

Perhaps most important of all, make sure your doctor comes recommended by a host of other parents (ask other new moms,get recommendations on local message boards, etc.). Or check our list of parent recommended Favorite Kids’ Docs in NJ (njfamily.com/thelist).

 

— SOURCES: BABY 411 BY ARI BROWN, MD AND DENISE FIELDS; THE COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED PREGNANCY COMPANION BY ROBIN ELISE

WEISS, LCCE; AND THE UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO HAVING A BABY BY ANN DOUGLAS AND JOHN R. SUSSMAN, MD

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More on preparing for Baby from NJ Baby:

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