Every parent wants a pediatrician who’s dependable, competent, caring, and easy to talk to. Some doctors are all of these things, and others are not. Therefore, when you’re looking for a pediatrician, you should (to the extent allowed by your insurance) take the time to visit a couple of doctors, seek recommendations, and ask questions.
To get the names of pediatricians you can interview, ask for recommendations from friends, relatives, your obstetrician, doula or midwife, and your insurance company. Once you have the names of a few pediatricians, set up appointments to visit. It’s always best to see at least two doctors so you can compare them before you make your decision. Some charge for consultations, so ask about fees.
When you visit each pediatrician’s office, look around. Are there toys and books available for children? Is the floor clean enough for a baby to crawl on? Are sick and healthy children separated? Are the receptionists, physician assistants, and nurses pleasant?
When you talk to the doctor, ask questions, and pay attention to how she responds. Does she answer you fully, in terms you can understand, and does she listen to your point of view? Do you feel comfortable with her? How do you think she relates to children?
Because your relationship with a pediatrician will be a long and involved one, it’s important to choose a doctor carefully.