You should select a pediatrician before your baby is born. Ask your obstetrician for names, and talk with other parents about the pediatricians they use. Many pediatricians offer a special time for parents to come and visit the office, learn about the physicians and staff, and ask questions. There may or may not be a charge for this visit. Before you spend time interviewing prospective pediatricians, make sure their services are covered by your insurance.
Here are some points to consider when choosing a pediatrician:
- Is the office near your home or place of work?
- How long does it take to get there during rush hour?
- Is parking convenient?
- Does the practice have more than one office?
- Are the same pediatricians at the same offices all the time?
- What are the office hours? Are there weekend and/or evening hours?
- How do you make an appointment?
- Is there a special time when you can call in to “Ask the Doctor”?
- Is this pediatrician listed as a provider on your insurance plan? Is he or she affiliated with a hospital on your insurance plan?
- How long do you have to wait in the office before you are seen?
- Is there a separate waiting area for sick children?
- Does the office staff seem friendly and interested in children?
- Does the pediatrician have a specialty or area of interest?
- Will your child see the same pediatrician for all visits?
- Whom should you call if your child gets sick during the night or on weekends?