Choosing a pediatrician
Listed below are some things to consider when choosing a pediatrician:
- Is the office near your home or place of work?
- How long does it take to get there during rush hour?
- Is parking convenient?
- Does the practice have more than one office?
- Are the same pediatricians at the same offices all the time?
- What are the office hours?
- Are there weekend and/or evening hours?
- How do you make an appointment?
- How long does it take to get a well-child appointment?
- How long does it take to get a sick-child appointment?
- What about payments and billing? Is this pediatrician listed as a provider on your insurance plan? What hospital is the pediatrician affiliated with? Is this compatible with your insurance plan?
- How long do you have to wait in the office before you are seen?
- Is there a separate waiting area for sick children?
- Does the office staff seem friendly and interested in children?
- Ask about the pediatrician's training and experience. Does he or she have a specialty or area of interest?
- Will your child see the same pediatrician for all visits?
- What happens if your child gets sick in the night or on weekends? Who do you call?
As you talk with the pediatrician and office staff, you will develop a sense of whether they have the same philosophy of child raising as you do. You can also talk with other parents to find out their experiences and recommendations.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers a referral service for help in finding a qualified pediatrician or specialist.