“Can you recommend a pediatrician?” It’s a question we get asked a lot at the Yinova Center. Different doctors suit different families so here are some thoughts that we hope will guide you as you make your choice.
The best place to start your search is by asking friends who live nearby. If you’re new to town, try looking on-line on neighborhood parenting sites.
Do the doctors you’re considering live nearby? And, do they accept your insurance? Though you may have heard raves about Dr. X, if they live out of easy reach, emergency visits may not be so easy to get too if subways or traffic are involved. If there’s someone you like who isn’t covered by your insurance, there are enough doctors that you’d probably get along fine with, so consider starting out with one that you like who also accepts your current coverage.
Try a first date
Often pediatricians allow soon-to-be parents to ‘meet and greet’. This initial consult (generally free of charge) allows you to see if you get along. And, this is usually a time when you can ask the doctor questions about topics that may be of special concern to you. If the doctor you’re considering doesn’t offer these consults, check with friends who currently use this doctor and ask if they wouldn’t mind having you tag along with them on their next visit.
Ask “What if….?”
Especially for first-time parents, you want to know what the office procedure is for things like answering your calls and questions during the business day and, as important, after hours, on weekends and holidays. Similarly, what if you want to bring your baby in on short notice?
99% of the time you’ll find your gut gives you the best feedback and you’ll pick of doctor that you’re pleased with. If this isn’t the case, don’t hesitate to start searching anew to find one that you do like. When you find that person, take a copy of your baby’s medical record with you to the new doctor. You want to have a good rapport with a provider who is a good listener and who addresses your concerns with care.