Wednesday, March 23, 2011

28w3d: Pediatrician Interviews

I decided that my project for the day would be to call a pediatrician. There's one just down the street from us (like we could walk there in less than ten minutes), and I was really hoping he accepts our insurance. He does! He also has really good recommendations on the local parenting message board. The only draw back from the comments on the message board are that his waiting room sometimes gets backed up because he takes a lot of time with each patient. I figure that the amount of time spent in the waiting room makes up for the amount of time I'd spend driving to appointments at offices that are farther-flung.
I looked for lists of questions to ask--I mean, I researched cribs, car seats, strollers, etc. before buying, so it made sense to me that I should have questions before choosing a pediatrician. Here's what mattered to me:
  • what are the office hours?
  • are there same-day sick appointments?
  • what happens if I have a question on the weekend or after-hours?
  • does the office offer any lactation support or LC referrals?
  • will he discharge my babies from the hospital?
  • what is the experience with preemies? (hopefully won't need to worry about that, but I'd like to be prepared....)
  • is there a separate waiting room for well and sick children?
Other questions that I found on "how to interview a pediatrician" lists that I didn't ask were:
  • What are your views on breastfeeding versus formula? How would you help support me in my decisions regarding feeding?
  • What is the schedule of vaccinations? What are your personal views on vaccines? What do you see as the most common side effect?
  • Once my baby starts eating solids, what do you recommend as a course of action? Should I start with veggies or fruits first? Why? How do you feel about a vegetarian diet for children?
  • How do you feel about co-sleeping, rooming in or independent crib sleeping? What are the pros and cons for each in your opinion?
  • How closely do you work with my OB/GYN?
The front office staff sounded really nice (I liked that someone just answered and I didn't have to wait through a recording) and answered most of my questions. They took my name and number and said the doctor would call me back sometime today. I'm looking forward to talking to him!

So long as I get a good vibe from him, that decision will be done. Otherwise, there is a mega-practice (like 12 doctors) about 20 minutes away and a practice of about three doctors about 25 minutes away. Both are recommended and I do like that they have weekend appointments. But being in the neighborhood would just be SO convenient....fingers crossed that this works out!

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