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Interviewing a Pediatrician

Several months before your due date you should begin finding a pediatrician for your baby. Once you have done your research and narrowed down your choices, you may want to set up an interview with the prospective pediatrician. Questions to consider when interviewing a pediatrician may involve his or her experience, certifications, and what happens in the case of an emergency.

Interviewing a Pediatrician: An Overview

Choosing a pediatrician or family practitioner for your baby does not have to be a daunting process. However, as with anything, it always helps if you go into your search knowing what you are looking for. It also helps to be able to do this search when you are not under pressure. So try to give yourself a few months before your due date. This will allow you to do some good research on the pediatricians in your area.
 
(Click Selecting a Pediatrician for helpful ideas on narrowing down your choices.)
 

How to Interview a Pediatrician

Once you have narrowed down your choices, a "meet and greet" is the easiest way to interview possible pediatricians for your new baby. These meetings can be one-on-one with just you and the doctor, or with a few other new or expectant parents.
 
These meetings are a great way to learn about the pediatrician, the office, the staff, and the routine of a typical visit. They are often held for small groups in the waiting room. The physician may begin by giving you some information on his or her background, experience, and maybe even some personal information, like whether he or she has any children. It will then be your chance to ask questions.
 

Interview Questions to Ask a Pediatrician

Most pediatricians are accustomed to being interviewed and answering many questions, so fire away. However, keep in mind that you will probably only have about ten minutes, so ask your more important questions first.
 
Here are a number of questions you might want to consider when you meet the pediatrician:
 
  • Is this practice accepting new patients?
  • Have you been certified by the American Board of Pediatrics?
  • Are you a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics?
  • Do you have any sub-specialties?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • Are there other doctors or nurse practitioners available in the event of a sudden illness if you are unavailable?
  • In the event of an emergency, what hospital should I bring my baby to? Is your practice affiliated with that hospital?
  • Is lab work done on the premises, or do we need to go to another location to have blood work done?
  • What are the office hours? What are the weekend or evening hours?
  • Do you offer same-day sick appointments?
  • Is there a designated waiting area for well children and a separate one for sick children?
  • Do you take my insurance?
  • Does your office charge for advice calls during the day, advice calls after hours, or medication refills?
  • If I need to cancel a well visit, how long will I need to wait until my child will see you for a rescheduled appointment?
  • What is the typical wait time from the scheduled appointment to the time I get in to see the doctor?
     
And remember, there are no right or wrong answers. At the end of the day, you will most likely "go with your gut."
 
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