You’ve spent nine long months doing everything just right – from daily vitamins to nursery colors to prenatal yoga (ok, not all of us… certainly not me) – and baby’s due date is coming up fast! But in this time of preparation, have you thought about who is going to guide you through these next 18 years? Who is going to be your pediatrician? Not only do you want someone with exceptional medical knowledge, but you also need someone who connects with you, shares your ideas on caring for kids, and has a welcoming, convenient office. Sound impossible to find? Fortunately, most offices offer parents a time to meet the pediatricians on staff and tour the office.
Questions to ask during your pediatrician meet and greet visit should cover a wide range of topics, including training, pediatric philosophy, and office logistics. Here are a few of my recommendations to make the most of your time.
These questions help you understand your prospective pediatrician’s training and experience. Newly trained physicians will be up to date on the latest practices and will likely be in practice for many years to come, allowing for continuity of care for your child. Older physicians will have years of experience under their belt, which can be very valuable. Being board certified means that your pediatrician continues to engage in further pediatric education and passes recurrent tests covering this material.
- How long have you been a doctor, and how long have you been in this practice?
- Are you board certified?
- What medical or parenting topics do you have extra experience in?
Philosophy of Care
While you certainly can’t cover every major child-rearing topic, this question will help you decide if your beliefs and preferences jive with those of your prospective pediatrician.
- What are your thoughts on vaccinations, breastfeeding, sleep, nutrition, discipline, etc.?
Many families are surprised by the number of doctor visits they make in the first year of life (seven well child check ups alone!). Make sure you understand how the practice handles appointments, phone calls, and after hour care and that it is a good fit for your family.
- Who does newborn rounds in the hospital?
- How do I schedule a well visit, and how far out will these be scheduled?
- How do I schedule a sick visit, and are these same-day appointments?
- Who sees my child for their well visits? Sick visits? The same doctor each time or a different one?
- Do you offer early, late, and weekend appointments?
- Can I reach a provider if my child has an emergency after hours?
- Which tests are done on site (blood tests, throat cultures)? Which tests are done off-site (x-rays) and where?
Pay attention to your surroundings throughout your visit. Ask yourself these questions after the visit:
- Was there both a sick child space and a well child space?
- How was the pediatrician’s interaction with you throughout the visit?
- What was your initial reaction to the pediatrician’s nurse and other staff?
Pediatrician Meet and Greets at Northside Pediatrics
At Northside Pediatrics, we offer group pediatrician meet and greet visits several times a month. Individual meet and greets are available upon request. These visits are free of charge and have no obligations attached. We would love to go over all these questions with you and help you decide if our practice is right for your family. Call the front office to schedule your appointment now.