Pediatricians — The Bump
September 2017 Moms

Pediatricians

I made appointments to meet with potential pediatricians this week and next week. I want to make sure I ask the right questions, but right now I can't come up with too many. I already know about their vaccine practices/schedules from their websites. Another thing that's important to me is evening/weekend appointments, but I already know schedules from website too. One thing I know I want to ask is how often my child will be able to see his primary pediatrician for sick appointments or it will it often be someone else in the practice. What questions are others planning to ask, or for STMs, which questions do you wish you asked and didn't?
jena333-2

Re: Pediatricians

  • lilpootslilpoots member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited July 2017
    There are pediatrician interview question checklists you can probably Google. I'll bet the bump has one as well. Usually you want to be in sync with treatment styles; some doctors are conservative and some are more aggressive. Other things that might matter: opinion on circ, advice nurse, sick/well child waiting areas, if they are supportive of breastfeeding, if they will see your baby in the hospital after they are born, etc. Really you want to mesh with the doctor and feel like you can trust their medical opinion.

    As a STM, I'm sticking with our current doctor, who is family practice. She wasn't our first pediatrician. I feel like I asked all the right questions, but some pediatricians interview better than others. Our first ped wasn't horrible, but I do feel like she knew what to say and what I wanted hear. Unfortunately she was pretty full of shit and didn't listen to us, so just know that you can always switch to another doctor or practice.
    tfranguldaisy62103Rhubarb7216
  • We didn't interview any pediatricians. I didn't even know that was a thing? We got a good feel at our first appointment about whether we would mesh well (we did). I kind of feel like until you see them react to an actual situation with your kid, it's hard to really know whether you have the right person. I'd probably go largely off gut instinct and be open to the fact that when you really get into the weeds with concerns about baby, you could end up discovering that you need a new doc.

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    Rhubarb7216tfrangulcoastalmomma2jenn622-2
  • The pediatric group we take DS1 to has quite a few pediatricians.  You can request a specific ped, or see whoever is available on the day you have scheduled for regular appts.  You may have a harder time seeing a specific ped for sick appts, purely because of scheduling and the fact that sick visits are a last minute thing.  

    I'd check for if there are extra fees for calling after hours, and if there is a fee, is it waived if you schedule a follow up appt (usually within 24h)?  Is there a nurse's line to call when you have questions, but don't necessarily think it requires a visit?  Do they support whatever version of parenting you see in your future (eg- co-sleeping, babywearing, formula vs BFing, vaccinating on schedule vs delayed vs not at all)?  Will they or someone from your ped group come see your newborn in the hospital (assuming they have hospital privileges there)?  Are they accepting new patients/ do they accept your type of insurance (a big problem in our area can be insurance from the healthcare exchange, a lot of the doctors won't accept patients with those plans)?  

    I'm sure you can find more ideas online, but those were some of the most important aspects when we first started looking for DS.  
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    Rhubarb7216IdleFancy
  • @ColoradoHiker pretty much hit all of mine. I am meeting with pediatricians in our area this week, I have actually been on the waiting list for one and finally got in. We have a large practice in our area that most people use, then a handful of small 1-2 Doctors paired with 1-2 NPs in our area. I have been wanting to be at one of the smaller ones, knowing that even if it isn't the Doctor we see all the time it will be the same NPs. 

    My big items:
    1. If they accept my health insurance. 
    2. Do they require all patient's to follow vaccination schedule or do they allow delays? *I'm not comfortable with a practice that didn't require their patients to follow the schedule. 
    3. Will the Doctor make a special visit to see us in the hospital or do they use the hospital on-call pediatrician. Do they do a 3 day followup or wait 2 weeks. 
    4. If there is an after hour contact/nurses line and what the charge is for calling. 
    5. Do they actually do a meet and greet - I wasn't comfortable with a pediatrician that wouldn't allow me to meet the Doctor before hand for a 15 minute consultation or open house. Some of the practices don't do that which is fine, just not a good fit for me. 
    Rhubarb7216IdleFancyjenn622-2Knottie1469136344
  • We met with our first choice pediatrician today (Who seeemed great, after this initial visit!) and the biggest things for me mirror what @coloradohiker and @towntowns said: 

    1. Separate sick and well waiting areas. (Hands down, my number one requirement.) Bonus points for a separate newborn area altogether, which ours surprised me by also having. 
    2. Responsiveness to questions outside of appointments. 
    3. Weekend sick visit options--anything to keep us out of the minor ER clinic, when it isn't necessarily something serious. 
    4. Willingness to take my opinions and research, plus my child's idiosyncrasies into account. The doctor we met with today ended up having a candid conversation about the new AAP safe sleep guidelines with me, after I asked, which put my mind at ease about her flexibility and individual treatment of patients. 

    lilpoots
  • Thanks everyone for your suggestions! We also did our first pediatrician visit today and I think it went pretty well! In addition to things I had planned to ask about and things I knew they offered, there were some bonuses I had not expected, but was glad to see:
    -special newborn waiting area (in addition to separate sick and well waiting areas) 
    -one of their nurse practitioners is also a lactation consultant and you can make appointments to see her for that purpose
    -they have access to X-rays in the unaffiliated urgent care that is in the same building, so if your child comes in with an injury and they think an x-ray is necessary, you can get the X-ray right there and then and not have to go somewhere else
    ColoradoHikerlilpoots
  • I started researching pediatricians today after seeing this thread! 

    I don't know if this office I'm looking at has a separate sick/well child waiting area... but they do have a LC which the other office I looked at doesnt. Plus this office will make visits to the hospital after birth and is associated with hospitals that I'd prefer baby to be in if ever needed.

    It sounds like they have and brand new doctor (just graduated ) starting next month. I love young docs and love to give them a chance and tend to prefer them over older, set in their ways docs. I hope I can have an interview with her before August 1 (it says she starts in august) but we'll see. 

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    tfrangul
  • We are meeting with our first choice pediatrician on the 18th.  We love that she is within walking distance from our home, sticks to the vaccine schedule, and is willing to respond to minor issues via text message.  There is also an in-house lactation consultant who is very highly recommended :)  Some of the potential downsides are that it is a very small practice and some of the appointments are run by NPs, but in general I am fine with that.  Will have to enquire about sick v. well waiting areas (sounds like a great idea!).  

    One thing I was told to ask was what their policy was on HepB vaccinations -- do they require that they be done in the hospital immediately after birth, or will they do them in the office later on.  For most people there is no reason to rush to do a HepB vaccination since babies have very little chance of contracting it from anyone other than the mother (exception being for babies that will likely require blood transfusions), so even though I am very pro-vax, I don't see the need to give my baby a shot immediately after birth when I'd like to be bonding with him.  
    jessieR358
  • jessieR358jessieR358 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited July 2017
    I started researching pediatricians today after seeing this thread! 

    I don't know if this office I'm looking at has a separate sick/well child waiting area... but they do have a LC which the other office I looked at doesnt. Plus this office will make visits to the hospital after birth and is associated with hospitals that I'd prefer baby to be in if ever needed.

    It sounds like they have and brand new doctor (just graduated ) starting next month. I love young docs and love to give them a chance and tend to prefer them over older, set in their ways docs. I hope I can have an interview with her before August 1 (it says she starts in august) but we'll see. 
    My main concern with a brand new pediatrcian is do they have children? that is super important to me. I like a middle ground, not someone who is about to retire, but not one that is fresh from residency.  So that's who I went with after doing a meet and greet when I had my DS. 

    I almost switched a couple times that first year. We butted heads on some parenting styles. But I realized he's not there for parenting advice. He doesn't go home with my child. I just quit letting things bother me and I think he got the point. Examples: CIO and time outs. I don't do either.
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