how exactly do you interview a pediatrician? — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

how exactly do you interview a pediatrician?

we are in the process of moving an hour from where we currently live and will unfortunately have to find a new doctor for our LO. everyone tells me to interview potential doctors but i feel kind of dumb calling up the office and saying, "hi. i want to interview dr. so-and-so to see if he/she is the right fit for my family." 

if you've shopped around for pediatricians, how did you start?  

Re: how exactly do you interview a pediatrician?

  • We just moved an hour away also.  Have you asked your current pedi if he/she knows of anyone in your new area?  We lucked out and a doctor who used to be at that practice started her own about 15 minutes from our new house.  If that hadn't worked we honestly were just going to blindly pick on.  For me I won't be able to evaluate whether or not I like a doctor until I see them in action - trial by fire, if you will.  If you have certain specific things you want to know, ask for a consultation appointment.  If all you really want is to see how your personalities jive, I personally wouldn't bother but just see how you like them at the first visit.
    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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  • I never understood the importance of interviewing a ped. I never had to for DD but for this LO I learned. His dr. that I chose because of location (without going to his office or meeting him) turned out to be a total jerk and started telling us everything we were doing wrong from keeping the PNP in our room for LO to sleep in to not "forcing" him to sleep through the night (LO was 3 days old). His office was filthy with dried poop on the table, the nurse changed LO, didn't wear gloves or wash her hands, there was pieces of syringes all over the floor and when the ped. was checking him out LO peed all over the table and they just wiped it up, didn't disinfect it, again didn't wear gloves and there wasn't even soap in the exam room for hand washing. We're in the process of switching but I still don't know how to "interview" them so I looked for reviews online. The new ped. has great reviews and I at least went to the office and saw that it was clean. So far, they're already better! GL, I'd ask around and check reviews online. At least thats a starting place
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  • Most reputable pediatricians won't be surprised if you call and ask for a consultation appt to interview the pediatrician. You can google important questions to ask. Having said that, we didn't do it. I really feel like you won't know if you like the office until you deal with them when you have a sick LO at home and you have to deal with it. We ended up choosing one that a lot of our friends use and like (I trust my friends!). But if that's not an option, since you're moving, think about what's important to you when it comes to a doctor for your LO, write it down, call, and ask for a consultation appt. You might feel stupid, but a good pediatrician's office won't think twice - they'll just schedule it. GL!
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  • We looked around before deciding because we are new to the area and don't know anyone with kids to get a recommendation from. 

    I started by asking my OB's office. They had a couple recommendations, and I found more just by googling pedis in our area. After checking to make sure the offices were covered by our insurance, I just called each of them and said I was pregnant and looking for a pedi. Most of them offered up an interview without me even asking. One didn't want to do an interview, even when I asked, so they were out. 

    Anyway, I didn't exactly have many specific questions, I just wanted to see the place and meet a doctor. I ended up going to two different places and at both places the doctors just gave me a ton of info about the practice, their hours, their general theories, etc. I know you aren't pregnant but I'm sure if you call around and explain that you are moving and want to find a pedi/visit the practice they would be happy to sit and talk with you. Or, at the very least, let you see the place.

    Definitely check reviews, and if the place has a website, check that out too. You definitely want to go somewhere that you are comfortable with, and it would be easier to check it out beforehand than to go once and hate and then have to transfer your child's records. Again. Good luck!! 

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  • Just say you are new to the area and would like to schedule a consultation. It's pretty common so they should know what you mean.

    Pay attention to things like the reception people - do they know what they're doing, are they friendly, are there enough of them for how many patients there are, etc. Is there system computerized, are they online? How does their after-hours system work? How long do you wait? Does the waiting area look clean?

    We don't have a lot of unusual philosophies or anything, so for us it was more of a "gut feeling" thing. The doctor gave us a tour of the facility, explained their general beliefs (stick to the vax schedule, encouage BF, etc.). If you have strong opinions about breastfeeding, vaccines, natural therapies, etc. that's something you'd want to ask about.

    The first doctor we saw did NOT give us a good feeling...they handed us all a gift bag from some formula company full of samples of premixed formula and coupons and whatnot, but then tried to say they encouraged BFing...I looked up reviews later on and found that many parents said they didn't really support BFing like they said they did, so I'm glad we went with our gut and didn't choose them.

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  • image e_delo:
    I never understood the importance of interviewing a ped. I never had to for DD but for this LO I learned. His dr. that I chose because of location (without going to his office or meeting him) turned out to be a total jerk and started telling us everything we were doing wrong from keeping the PNP in our room for LO to sleep in to not "forcing" him to sleep through the night (LO was 3 days old). His office was filthy with dried poop on the table, the nurse changed LO, didn't wear gloves or wash her hands, there was pieces of syringes all over the floor and when the ped. was checking him out LO peed all over the table and they just wiped it up, didn't disinfect it, again didn't wear gloves and there wasn't even soap in the exam room for hand washing. We're in the process of switching but I still don't know how to "interview" them so I looked for reviews online. The new ped. has great reviews and I at least went to the office and saw that it was clean. So far, they're already better! GL, I'd ask around and check reviews online. At least thats a starting place

    WOW. I hope you also post reviews online about this unprofessional practice so other parents will be warned!

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