During the last couple of months of your pregnancy, you should start looking for a pediatrician. Finding the right doctor is very important. You should feel comfortable and know they will answer any questions you may have without making you feel like an idiot for asking.
Don’t wait until the last minute to talk to potential doctors. I had made an appointment with someone that came highly recommended. I had my son the day before the interview. Of course, when the hospital asked me who our pediatrician was, I had to use the doctor I was supposed to interview. I did like him, but my husband was not too happy with him. We changed to a different doctor in the same office after my son was a year old.
You can choose to use a family practitioner or a pediatrician. The difference between the two is a pediatrician specializes in children’s medicine; a family practitioner does not. Either one would be an excellent choice, so it’s more with whom you feel most comfortable. Of course, you can call friends, family, or the hospital to get their recommendations. Talking to someone you trust might help the process go a little smoother.
When you have some candidates, it is time to call their office to see if you interview them. Many doctors will see you and take the time to discuss office practices, etc. But not all are available; their office may be too busy to talk to you. Once you have the interviews set up, have your questions ready. Here is a list of questions you may want to ask the doctor during your interview:
1. What is your philosophy on raising children?
2. How much are your office visit fees?
3. How much are your hospital charges?
4. Is there a Nurse Practitioner in your office?
5. Do you charge for phone calls?
6. Who returns phone calls? You or your office staff?
7. How long are your scheduled appointments?
8. How often would you see my baby the first year?
9. Do you have a waiting area just for sick children?
10. Since there are other doctors in this office, will my child always see you?
11. Is your office available on Saturdays or evenings?
Now that you have visited and talked to each doctor, this is the time to discuss yours and your spouse’s impressions of each one. Your first choice may not be the one you stick with forever, but to be honest, you won’t really know how it will work out until your baby is here, and you can see the doctor in action.