When searching for a pediatrician, it is best to start by asking your friends and family who they have used. These are the people that know you best, so they should be able to help you find a doctor that will fit your unique needs. Another way to look for a pediatrician is to ask your obstetrician or call hospitals and local county medical societies.
Once you have created a list of pediatricians, you can begin visiting with them and conducting interviews to see which one you will choose. The following is a list of questions that you should ask each pediatrician so you can choose the best one for you and your child.
How soon will you see my baby after birth?
You should ask each pediatrician how soon they can see your baby after delivery and if you can be present during the newborn exam. Most hospitals will ask for the name and phone number of your pediatrician before you give birth, usually when you are admitted. After your baby is born, your pediatrician will be contacted. If there were complications during your birth or delivery, a doctor on staff may see your baby before your actual pediatrician. If your baby’s doctor is able to be at the hospital within the first 24 hours after birth, they can perform the newborn examination instead.
When should my baby have their next exams?
No matter how long you are in the hospital after giving birth, you will most likely speak with your pediatrician multiple times, even every day. This will allow the pediatrician to determine that no surprise medical issues have occurred and give you the chance to ask additional questions. You should also ask when your baby will have their first exam at the pediatrician’s office before you are discharged.
How often will my baby get checkups?
It has been recommended that your baby see the pediatrician 48 to 72 hours after being released from the hospital, especially if they are breastfed. Doing this allows the doctor to verify your baby is healthy and eating properly. You should ask if each pediatrician will adhere to the recommendations set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding appointment frequency. If they do not follow these guidelines, make a note regarding why so you can review it later.
When are you available to speak with me?
One of the most important questions you should ask every pediatrician is when they will be available by phone and email. Some will be available by phone at certain times of the day, while others will be able to return phone calls at various times. If the pediatrician is not available to take your call, ask what sort of training their phone staff has gone through. Some pediatricians prefer to communicate with parents through email. Although this may seem unconventional, it gives you the chance to speak with them more often.
Pediatricians sometimes work in a group practice. This means that if the one you have chosen is unavailable, another doctor may be able to see your child. When you are searching for a pediatrician, ask if they work with other doctors and if you can meet them as well. Knowing everyone involved in your child’s care is important for their safety and your peace of mind.
If the pediatrician works alone, ask who covers their office while they are unavailable. The answering service will most likely refer you to another doctor in the event your chosen pediatrician is unavailable. You should know the names and phone numbers of these professionals beforehand.
What happens if there is an after-hours concern or emergency?
When you are searching for a pediatrician, you should ask each one about after-hours and emergency communication. Sometimes pediatricians will cover their own emergency calls, while others will refer you to an answering service and require you to visit a hospital. This can be a better option if your child is in serious danger. However, sometimes it is best to see your pediatrician in their own office.
What are the costs of care at your practice?
It is important to ask each pediatrician on your list about their costs. Common costs and fees include those associated with routine appointments, emergency calls, and after-hours visits. You should also be familiar with how the pediatricians will work with your insurance company, so you can be prepared for each charge.
After you have conducted your interviews and recorded the pediatrician’s answers, you should take some time to make your choice. It is important that you trust your pediatrician and their entire staff, as well as their policies and attitude.
If you are searching for a reliable, experienced, and caring pediatrician, contact Dr. John M. Young, M.D. Pediatrics today. Dr. John Young and his team are committed to providing the best experience for you and your child. Call our office at (806) 354-0404 ext. 330 to schedule an appointment with us today. You can also Contact Us by email or visit our office in person at 1500 S. Coulter St. Suite #3 in Amarillo, Texas to learn more about our services.