Picking a pediatrician — The Bump
January 2017 Moms

Picking a pediatrician

So I'm doing my first pediatrician interview next week and thought it might be nice to have a place for people to post advice/experiences on their picking their pediatrician or child's doctor, if you decide not to go with a pediatrician. 

I ended up asking my OB for suggests, which worked out great because she sees a ton a different pediatricians at the hospital.

Out of the list she gave me the ones I chose to interview both have some night or weekend hours, same day sick appointments, and a 24/7 call line if you have questions. 

I have some questions in mind but any advice would be appreciated!
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Re: Picking a pediatrician

  • I don't even know where to start with this, I am so lost.... lol

    My husband brought this up other the other day and I just felt overwhelmed just thinking about it. LOL
    <3 * Happily married August, 23rd, 2014 * <3

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    nolemama24
  • Honestly, I never interviewed any doctors. I asked my mom group for suggestions and then read their bios and chose the one I liked. We had to switch peds 4 times by the time my daughter was 18 months due to job transfers and insurance changes. 
    BrennansMom2012
  • I asked my ob for suggestions. I compared this list to my insurance. I made sure they had rights at the hospital I was delivering at and made sure they were accepting new patients. I never interviewed. I ended up switching pedis after one year. 

    If you have any important questions, you can ask the receptionist. One of the biggest potential issues is "do you accept patients who do not vaccinate" 
    raquel87
  • I didn't interview a single pediatrician when I had DD. I knew that I wanted her to be seen at the same group of doctors that I use (it's a comprehensive health clinic), so I just chose one and we moved forward. It worked out just fine for us. Like @underthesea said, I read bios and made a decision. 
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    raquel87
  • I actually just called my pediatrician to make sure that they will even see my baby because they aren't accepting new patients. 
  • I am just planning to use my family doc... Unless she has some specific health problem that needs more specialization then my Family doc should be fine, right?

    ***TW****MC mentioned & BFP mentioned***


    me 38 DH 39.  
    TTC#1 since July 2014
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    Diagnosed MMC at 9w1d on 11/30/15
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    DE attempt in Czech Republic!! 

    March trip to Prague canceled due to Pancreatitis. :sob:
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    We are having a GIRL!!! Due Jan 26, 2017


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  • Ugh, this is giving me such anxiety. I'm used to Tricare where they just assign one, but getting to base can be a PITA so we are sticking with Tricare standard. I also just realized that because of that, I need to actually find a doctor for myself. Totally forgot that I lost my PC doctor when I changed insurance plans. Oops.
    vssbrm
  • I have an interview next week and another one mid- November.  I am hoping that I get a good feeling/vibe/something from one of the offices.  This is all so new to me, so as long as I feel the doctor's are listening to my concerns and answering whatever crazy sleep deprived questions I come up with I think I'll be okay.  Worse case scenario we hate the doctor and switch practices, which we will probably have to do when we move anyway.  
    me 35/ DH 39
    married 8/22/2015
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    BFP#2- 10/2015 edd- 6/29/2016 mmc/ d&c 12/2015
    BFP#3- 4/30/2016 DD1 12/27/16
    BFP#4- 9/26 edd 6/5/18

  • We picked a family doctor off our insurance list when we moved, called to make sure they could see our new baby and have stuck with him for all of us since. We'll be using him again for this baby. 
    I feel like there is way too much stress and pressure involved in picking a pediatrician. Find someone close and in network and if you don't like them see someone else next time, it's fine. 
    kaytastic25vssbrm
  • ThePax89 said:
    I actually just called my pediatrician to make sure that they will even see my baby because they aren't accepting new patients. 
    Good call. I didn't even think about this. What did they say?

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  • One of the things suggested to me was to make sure there are separate waiting rooms for well and sick children at the pediatrician's office. Other than that, we'll be asking if they allow delayed vaccination (for purposes of avoiding) and what their phone services are like.
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  • I went with a recommendation from my boss.  Our pediatrician's practice holds a monthly after hours meeting with new patients to find out more information.  Vaccinations, after hours care and same-day appointments were the biggest topics we were interested in.  The doctors pretty much went over everything with us so I didn't feel like we needed to ask a lot of questions.  I really love our pediatrician and it worked out great for us.  That being said, I wouldn't stress it too much, like PP said you can always change if you're unhappy or don't think it's a good fit.   
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  • We had our pediatrician recommended by friends and did a consult with him about...  3 weeks ago I think? We came armed with an arsenal of questions and I think he was so used to doing consults (he's pretty old and has been a pediatrician for decades) that he answered nearly all of our questions without us even asking them.

    I was mostly concerned with: How they handle well-baby visits (how frequently and if those start with a visit in the hospital), his policy on antibiotic use, how they handled after-hours calls, and if they had same-day appointments for sick patients. Everything else I was able to suss out just searching around online.
    Me: 34 / OH: 37
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    DS (Henry!): 1/7/17 <3
  • I'm just reading bios. I can't actually "choose" the pedi until after baby arrives, but I want to have my homework done when they tell me who is accepting patients.
  • DH is doing his family medicine residency and we are going to let one of his co-interns be our baby's doctor. They all need a certain number of continuity patients to graduate from residency so we feel good about letting them take care of our baby. I wouldn't normally let a new resident do it, but I know and like all of them personally and know they will ask the attending pediatrician if they need help with something out of the ordinary. 
    TW: MMC
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    ———
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    underthesea
  • I would at least drop by the office and check it out to get a feel for it.  I never interviewed doctors before baby was born, but visited the office, found out about their hours (regular and sick visit).  We moved when my oldest was 1.5 and went through 3 practices before finding, and loving, our  current one, so it is ok to switch early on too if it doesn't feel like a good fit.
    DS1: 9/29/12
    DS2: 11/5/14
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  • We researched doctors by asking friends, family, and the people at my doctor's office, and then checked out whatever we could find out about their practices online.  So basically we had a running list, but then the nurse at our childbirth classes gave us a good tip.  She said if you don't have a doctor lined up by the time you give birth, the neonatologist at the hospital will be the one looking after your baby while you're there, and they are apparently really good at making recommendations of people they trust, taking into consideration what area of town you live and any issues your LO may or may not have.  So that's what we did.  We waited, took the neonatologist's recommendations and referenced then against our own running list -- there was a match!  So that's who we picked and it worked out well.
  • I just asked around and found one covered by insurance but also one of the biggest factors that I included in deciding was location it's only like a five minute drive from my house which is great because you go a lot during the first year. Turns out I love the doctor. 
  • I posted in a local moms group for recommendations. I specifically asked about breastfeeding support.  It drives me insane that pediatricians of all doctors can have such dated information on breastfeeding, so that was important to me and I was able to get recommendations based on that. 
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  • I got some recommendations from my doula, and also from 1 of my neighbors. We interviewed my neighbor's pediatrician and 1 of my doula's recs a few weeks ago. Neither have privileges at the hospital where I will be delivering, but the reality is the hospital is a little out of the way for us in general. We wouldn't want to be locked into a pediatrician in that neck of the woods just because they're affiliated with the hospital. 

    Both doctors we met covered a lot of potential questions before we asked. I particularly wanted to know how supportive they are of breast feeding (many pedis in my area are not supportive); office hours and whether they have walkin hours for same day sick visits; after hours availability; and views on diet/allergies/weaning.

    Think we are going with the pediatrician recommended by my doula. Even though he's a little further away I got a better vibe from the office overall. And I know we can always switch down the road if for some reason it's not working out. 
  • I asked some neighbor moms and setup an appointment to interview the NPI at our practice.  I love the doctor my daughter sees so we will keep using him for this baby.  Definitely do.your research and try to find a good fit, but I agree with not putting too much pressure on yourself.  You can always get a 2nd opinion and switch to a different pediatrician if it doesn't work out with the first one.

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  • We interviewed two pediatricians. I worked in an amazing pediatrician office all through nursing school so I knew what I wanted. One office was super fancy and another was more laid back. We ended up deciding on the more laid back office due to doctor values and the overall feel of the doctor. The fancy doctor office was not personable at all. 

    Here's a few of the questions I asked: 
    Do you have privileges at armc? 
    Will you specifically come to the hospital when born?
    Do you do circumsions at the hospital?
    Do you have admitting privileges?

    Nurse line?
    In house labs?
    Lactation consultants?
    Weekend hours?
    Same day appointments?

    Any parenting book recommendations for new moms?

    How soon would our first appointment be? Who would make this appointment?
  • Anyone here, who is against vaccinations, have trouble finding a pediatrician? 

    I know this can be a rough subject in a doctors office. ...
    <3 * Happily married August, 23rd, 2014 * <3

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  • I second asking your OB. My Ob is in a large building with a peds office as well. At my hospital the ped doctors do rotations in the hospital with the obs in order to facilitate newborn care after delivery so it was easy to weed out who they preferred and didn't. 
  • I guess I couldn't imagine interviewing a Dr. Like @underthesea, I put out a huge group message to all my Mommy friends asking for their pediatricians. We checked all with our insurance and 3 were in the same practice and were covered. The other 2 recommended were covered but no longer accepting patients. Since they were a group, we had the privilege of going to see whichever Dr we wanted until we "picked" one as our main Dr. However, we found each Dr takes care of all patients as if they were their own. We found a Dr we trust and more importantly my son loves--no tears during shots! And if our Dr is not available another one will step in. They don't have a separate waiting room and my son has never got sick from spending a small wait in the same vicinity as a sick patient. Quite possibly the best thing about the practice is digital record keeping. Super helpful for when preschool forms are needed! 
  • Yikes! I really need to do this. We're in a new town and so I really need a pediatrician for both kids. LOL. #mommyfail
  • christac1010christac1010
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    edited October 2016
    I had the same recommendation from about 4 or 5 friends, so we figured it was probably a solid choice. Two of those friends are NICU nurses so I trusted their recommendations even more. It's a large practice and only about five minutes from our house and daycare. We were supposed to have a quick orientation/walk through last night, but we obviously had to cancel. We basically just picked a doctor (based off recommendations and bios) and told them we would bring in our paperwork soon. 

    ETA our practice does not accept patients refusing vaccines. It was actually one of the very first questions they asked me when I called. 
  • I love the Dr that my 2 girls go to right now and I've already asked her if she is excepting an new patients.  She is so I am happy.

  • JustJaneyJustJaney
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    edited October 2016
    HJMorgan said:
    Anyone here, who is against vaccinations, have trouble finding a pediatrician? 

    I know this can be a rough subject in a doctors office. ...
    Maybe it's regional, but every single pediatrician office web site I researched specifically said they would only accept patients who agree to their vaccination schedule.  There was a pretty bad measles outbreak in our area when I had my first LO, so I was grateful/relieved that going to the doctor wasn't something I had to worry about as far as exposure.  

    ETA: I'm pro vaccination but I am truly interested in hearing what your experience is in finding a doctor.  It's an interesting question I hadn't thought about.
  • @hjmorgan I was going to say that maybe it was just near us like @justjaney said, but it's my understanding that most pediatricians in our area are refusing patients who aren't vaccinated. 
    JustJaney
  • HJMorgan said:
    Anyone here, who is against vaccinations, have trouble finding a pediatrician? 

    I know this can be a rough subject in a doctors office. ...
    I am provaccination, but I asked the offices I called to avoid going somewhere my baby could be exposed to unvaccinated kids and none of the offices in my area accept patients that refuse vaccinations, only one said they would offer a delayed vaccination schedule. 
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  • When I worked in a Nashville, there was one specific office that did not require vaccinations. They had a more natural approach to medicine. 
  • We lucked out with finding our pediatrician for sure. Our OB recommended the practice because she takes her kids there and a few other people mentioned them in passing so I called and they set me up a meeting with whichever doctor I wanted- she told me which days of the week they worked and whatnot- I looked at some bios and picked one and when we met with her we fell in love! I know it was just by chance, but we asked a million questions and she told us all about the practice and it all just fit for us. The only question that still remains is circumcision. We plan on having that done, but neither our ped or our OB does them so it's still a mystery on who will. 
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  • @HJMorgan I am not against vaccinations, but it is important to me that my pediatrician is willing to have an open discussion about them. I live in the NYC area, and there are definitely doctors around here who will accept patients who are not vaccinated, though I don't think the doctors will outright advertise this. People tend to rely on word of mouth, and then obviously direct contact with the Doctor/office.

    There are many many doctors in my area, and therefore a wide range of approaches to care. I asked both pediatricians I interviewed whether they were open to spreading shots out across visits, rather than giving multiple vaccines at once - both were. It seems that this point isn't very controversial because it can be done while still complying with the state schedule. 1 of the pediatricians also said he is willing to delay certain "low risk" vaccinations, eg, Hep B, depending on the particular circumstances - for example if baby is not going to be in daycare. And that he personally orders the vaccines and is knowledgeable about the ingredients and how they are manufactured. None of this was advertised in his bio or on his website, but was straightforward enough to discuss in person.

    Short of asking around, you might also be able to find a functional/integrative medicine doctor who either practices family medicine or who can recommend a pediatrician who takes a holistic approach. 


  • Well, looks like I'm going to have a difficult time.... None of my siblings and I were ever vaccinated, besides my oldest brother when he was a baby he got dangerously ill right afterward. I don't recall my parents having a hard time finding a doctor, but it looks like they've gotten more strict. We have a close family friend who's son got sick after getting the same shot my brother got, but the illness caused brain damage and he has extreme mental retardation now.... So I am extremely skeptical when it comes to shots...
    Although no judgement on people who get them obviously, this is just my personal experience that causes discomfort with the idea. lol
    <3 * Happily married August, 23rd, 2014 * <3

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  • @HJMorgan I have similar concerns due to family/personal medical history. That's why it was important to me to find a doc who is willing to discuss potential risks and how to mitigate them. I'd suggest looking for a functional, integrative, or holistic pediatrician or family doctor. They are probably more apt to advertise this way than to broadcast that they are anti-vaccine. Also, the Dr. Sears vaccine book is a good resource. It addresses a lot of concerns and talks about practical options. 
    JustJaney
  • @KRB22 Oooh, good suggestion! Thanks!
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  • @HJMorgan, from what I understand, actual vaccine injury is rare, but a family history of vaccine injury should not be taken lightly.  I would hope that any doctor would be willing discuss with you the risks after going over your family history and your concerns.   My non-medical background tells me it would be bad medicine for them to do otherwise.
  • So we're pretty sure we picked our pediatrician- they have no waiting room so you're taken to an exam room ASAP (not stuck around other kids who might be sick) and no metal tables- comfy couches and chairs only. They don't come to the hospital at birth but work with a hospitalist group and have us come in the day after discharge. 

    My biggest question is that they don't see us from day after discharge to 4 weeks- is this normal? I thought there was a 2 week appointment sometimes, I'm a little nervous to go a whole month with no supervision..... am I trying to avoid adulting or does that seem long to anyone else?
  • So we're pretty sure we picked our pediatrician- they have no waiting room so you're taken to an exam room ASAP (not stuck around other kids who might be sick) and no metal tables- comfy couches and chairs only. They don't come to the hospital at birth but work with a hospitalist group and have us come in the day after discharge. 

    My biggest question is that they don't see us from day after discharge to 4 weeks- is this normal? I thought there was a 2 week appointment sometimes, I'm a little nervous to go a whole month with no supervision..... am I trying to avoid adulting or does that seem long to anyone else?
    I think one month is fairly normal but for the fact that you're going in the day after discharge.  I think many times it's a week after discharge, so at one month that's not quite as far off.  However, if there are issues like jaundice or BFing/weight gain concerns, you could possibly be coming in sooner.
    TinaBelcher
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