When it comes to picking a pediatrician, there are lots of factors to consider, and as a parent it’s something you should take seriously. If you’re a healthy adult, you probably don’t have to worry about spending too much time at the doctor, and when you do get sick or need to find care, it’s easy enough to look one up. However, when you’re bringing a little one into the world or moving to a new location, finding a person or practice to care for your little ones should be top priority.
The first time I became pregnant, I did my best to follow the generic timelines that were out there for prenatal care and preparation for baby. So, when it comes to finding the pediatrician who will be giving your baby his frequent first check-ups, it’s best to “shop around” before baby arrives. I guess the guideline is to have one in place by the 8 month mark…and you may think that’s too early, but better to be prepared in case your bundle of joy makes an early appearance. A great place to start is by asking friends and family who they use. Other factors to consider are things like age and sex of the doctor, location of the office, what hospital affiliations they have, along with days & hours of operation.
Your first time out, you may not think you have a strong opinion on some of those details, but if you work full time and need evening and/or weekend hours, that can be a deal-breaker. Do you prefer a one person practice, or are you okay using an office with a group of doctors. And when it comes to the age of the doctor, do you want someone who may be more experienced and traditional, or a younger doctor who can likely be your child’s provider until they reach 18!? You may also want to know if the pediatrician is reachable via text, mobile or email… Find out what the after-hours procedures are and ask about their philosophy on anti-antibiotics and prescriptions. Make sure the doc’s perspective and practices are along the lines of what you are comfortable with.
We really liked our first pediatrician. She ran her own practice out of a home converted into “Kidstown Pediatrics” in a trendy up and coming area of Miami. Her office offered an alternative immunization schedule for baby’s first year, spread out over several months, so baby would only get a few at a time, rather than 6 in one shot…excuse the pun! We also liked that she was younger, easy to talk to and offered some weekend and evening hours. And actually during my hunt, I had come across yelp reviews for her that were mixed and despite a couple of them complaining she had long wait times and this and that…that was never my experience with her and I’m glad I didn’t listen to the reviews and met her while still expecting baby #1. I had interviewed one other possible pediatrician and from the moment I walked into her office, I knew she’d be our best choice.
So, when we recently moved and we had to find another pediatrician for my boys, I thought about what things I liked about the one we had to leave. This time we selected an office with a group of pediatricians, but within the practice we were able to select a main doctor who will see each son for all his wellness visits, so there is consistency there… However, the bigger factors here are this office is open 7 days a week with evening hours and they are located just a few blocks from our residence. Now, after attending a couple appointments there, the staff has always been friendly and competent…and the waits haven’t been bad at all! So, I think we’ll stick with this one!