10 Questions to Ask Your Pediatrician
The choice of a pediatrician to see your new baby is very personal and will have a huge impact on your family. After all, they may see your child for 18 years and help you through some tough situations during that time! You want to make sure you are choosing not only the best pediatrician in Colorado but also the best fit for your unique family. Here are ten questions you should ask when considering a pediatrician.
1. How do you handle emergencies and urgent questions?
Should an emergency or scary health situation arise, it is most comforting to be seen by a familiar practitioner, if at all possible. Some pediatricians are able to see your child on a same-day basis if there is an urgent need, and some offices have a 24-hour nurse hotline where you can call after hours for advice on whether to treat a child at home or take them to the hospital.
2. How many physicians are in your practice?
Depending on the practice, your pediatrician may be solo or working in conjunction with a whole staff of fellow doctors. If the latter, you may wish to see if you can meet the other physicians in order to feel comfortable coming into the office if your desired pediatrician is on vacation or otherwise unavailable for your appointment.
3. What are your views on my parenting philosophy?
Depending on your unique family’s philosophy, your pediatrician should “mesh” well with your outlook so that you can work together as a team in your child’s best interest rather than constantly butting heads. You can ask questions about topics such as breastfeeding, circumcision, discipline, weaning, sleep training, first foods, and other potentially controversial conversations.
4. What is your vaccination policy?
Some pediatricians require strict adherence to the CDC’s current vaccination schedule, while others are more open to alternative schedules.
5. Do you offer separate waiting rooms for sick and well children?
There’s nothing worse than going in for a routine well-check, only to be seated next to someone who has the flu! You can inquire what the office’s policy is in regards to separation of sick and well patients while waiting to be seen.
6. What is the average wait time at your office?
With a handful of children and a busy schedule, it can really throw off your day to arrive in time for your appointment only to be kept waiting for over an hour. You can ask what the average wait time is and if most patients are able to be seen within a reasonable distance of their allotted appointment.
7. Do you accept my insurance?
Find out if the physician is able to accept your insurance so that you know how your visits will be paid for. You may also wish to find out about backup plans, in case you switch to a different insurance plan or ever need to make cash payments.
8. Do you perform my baby’s first checkup after birth?
Find out if your pediatrician makes rounds at your chosen birthing hospital and will see your baby right away, or if you will need to make an appointment to come into their office after discharge.
9. How long will our routine appointments last?
Some doctors will only provide a brief visit with a few routine questions. Especially if you are a first-time parent, you may wish to have a bit more time to discuss your baby’s development and ask questions. Many parents feel that a 15-20 minute time slot for a routine visit, especially if shots are involved, is appropriate.
10. Do I feel comfortable and listened to?
This one is for you to ask yourself! A pediatrician could be the most famous, highly educated, and well-respected physician in the county, but if their personality and demeanor do not put you at ease as you entrust your baby’s care to them, then it’s not the right fit. Meet with a few physicians, and ask some questions – of course. But ultimately, you are the parent, and you have built-in instincts for a great reason. Trust your gut, and you can’t go wrong.
Colorado Mountain Doulas recommends asking these questions to help you find a wonderful pediatrician for your children. Who is your favorite pediatrician in Denver or the Colorado Springs area? What do you love about them?