Choosing a pediatrician is one of the earliest major decisions you make for your baby. When my son was born I went to one that had been recommended to me. He took a quick look, took some measurements and sent my son and I on our way. I was floored. I thought to myself, “That’s it!?” I immediately called another doctor. This time I went for a private doctor, not covered by insurance, who made house calls. He cost an arm and a leg and ended up telling me the same thing – all is fine. After that I cycled though two more doctors before finally settling on someone I love and trust.
“It is a long-term, very intimate relationship and you should take your time to decide on a pediatrician,” says Dr. Neela Sethi MD, practicing pediatrician and lactation consultant.
Here are a few helpful tips that Dr. Sethi has outlined for us to help find the best pediatrician for you and your little one.
- Is your Pediatrician office conveniently located by you? “When your child is sick or god forbid facing an emergency, it is important to be able to see your doctor in a timely fashion. Try to choose an office that is located a reasonable distant from your home.”
- Ask your OB-GYN for a referral. “Often times OBs and pediatricians have a close relationship. They trust one another with the care of mother and baby. Chances are if you love your OB, they will lead you to a pediatrician you will also love.”
- Choose a Pediatrician that you click with. “It is generally recommended to meet your pediatrician a few months prior to delivery. Find someone that you like, plain and simple. Find someone that is comforting and has a personality that you appreciate.Follow your gut instinct!”
- Check to see how the office runs. “It is always a good idea to ask about office hours, after hours care and procedures, response times for phone calls and wait times in the office. Some offices even offer email options for you to get in touch with your doctor with questions and concerns. Find out what works for you.”
- Check to make sure that the financials make sense. “It is important that you take into account whether your Pediatrician is in your health insurance network and what the costs will be for routine well visits and sick visits. The last thing you need is to be stuck with a giant bill when your baby is sick or needs vaccines. Do your research.”
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