When you choose a pediatrician for your babies, it’s important to be comfortable with your choice. This is the doctor who will care after your two sweet blessings, and give recommendations that may impact their entire lives. That’s a pretty big decision to make. So how do you pick the doctor who is right for your family?
Start by asking your friends for recommendations. Your friends will be your best critics in this arena. You’ll hear the good and bad of any doctor, and be able to filter out for yourself what makes sense. There is no shame in asking, so ASK! Once you’ve come up with a few options, google them! Reviews take over the internet, so use them! But make sure to take online reviews with a grain of salt. Your friend’s opinions will probably outweigh what you can find online, so proceed with caution. But googling the doctor, or the office, can help you get a feel for the atmosphere (maybe you find pictures of the office online), or you can find what makes the doctor special, or what degrees or training the doctor may have. After you’ve chosen one, or a few, figure out what is most important to you in a pediatrician. Do you care if the office has an immunization schedule you need to follow? What hours do you want the office to be open? Will you need evening or weekend hours? Do they have after-hour offices you can go to instead of a hospital in case of a late-night emergency? How many doctors are available to you if your doctor is not available? After all of your research, call the office. Feel free to ask the receptionist any questions you need answers to. If everything checks out, and you’re feeling good to move forward with your selection, these tips can help with the rest!
Most pediatricians have a greeting appointment where you can see the office, and meet and speak with the pediatrician. Do this while you’re pregnant, and it will help you find someone you’re truly comfortable with. If you don’t like something about your visit, like the office, the receptionist, the pediatrician, etc., you’re probably not going to warm up to them anytime soon. So cross that one off your list, and find someone else. Your whole visit should leave you feeling happy and content with your decision.
Choosing Someone After the Fact
If you’re seeing your pediatrician for the first time WITH your baby, pay close attention to how you feel throughout your visit. Watch how the pediatrician interacts with your baby—is he/she attentive to your baby’s needs, does he/she do a thorough exam, does he/she treat your baby like you treat your baby, or even, better? Watch how the pediatrician acts during the visit—is he/she rushed, making you feel nervous? Does he/she listen to ALL of your concerns, and questions, and resolve them adequately? Your pediatrician should have a kid-friendly staff, office, and environment. If your kids don’t want to go there, you will end up with a real headache every time you have to take them in. So make sure the waiting room can pre-occupy them while you wait for your doctor, make sure your doctor doesn’t end up making you wait FOREVER, and make sure your kid enjoys being there. They should come away from the visit feeling just as respected as you. If they don’t trust their doctor, it will be a problem.
Choosing Someone New
Let’s say that you chose a pediatrician, went once, and hated the experience. How do you find a new one? Basically, you’ll start the process over. But this time, make sure you’ve written down your concerns, so you can remember what you didn’t like about the previous pediatrician. Make sure to ask as many questions as you can to the new office, making sure you feel comfortable with your new selection.
Choosing someone to care for your children can be hard, but remember, your pediatrician should be like an extension to your family. If you never move, that doctor may be looking out for your family for a VERY long time. The relationship with your pediatrician should not be taken lightly—they will be like your new best friend. And where you have TWO babies to take care of at once, you need all the help you can get! Good luck mamas!!