10 Things to Look for When Selecting Your Baby's 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:
Will the doctor be able to examine your baby in the hospital where you deliver?
How difficult is it to get a same-day appointment?
What’s the policy for weekend and evening appointments?
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.
Is she a good listener?
How does she feel about breastfeeding, circumcision, alternative therapies or any other issue important to you?
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?
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?
Are there separate waiting areas for sick and well children?
Are they clean, bright, pleasant and safe for babies?
In case of emergency, where will your child be referred?
Who will provide care?
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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