A good pediatrician can help new parents breathe easy. Find a doctor who works for you with these tips.
- Step 1: Begin your search for a pediatrician several months before your due date, so you have plenty of time to find a health care professional who inspires confidence and who has a style that meshes with your own.
- Step 2: Create a short list of candidates by asking people you trust for referrals. Ask your relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or your obstetrician for recommendations.
- TIP: If you’re new to your area, request a list of board-certified pediatricians from the American Academy of Pediatrics to locate experienced children's physicians near you.
- Step 3: Compare your top candidates with your health insurance provider's list of in-network providers to make sure your plan will cover your pediatrician.
- Step 4: Contact your state's medical board to see if the providers you are considering have any complaints or disciplinary actions on their record.
- Step 5: Schedule prenatal interviews to meet the doctor, check out the office, and ask any questions you may have about the practice's routines and policies. Assess the pediatrician's personality, communication skills, and philosophies.
- Step 6: Observe the reception area. Ask the front desk staff questions about payment policies and appointment scheduling to determine their level of helpfulness.
- TIP: Save your research after you've settled on a pediatrician, since your insurance may change, or you may decide you don't like your child's new doctor.
- Step 7: Tell the hospital where you will deliver your baby who your child's doctor is. The staff will contact your new pediatrician to examine your baby after it is born.
- FACT: The American Academy of Pediatrics was founded in 1930 by 35 pediatricians who met in Detroit to create an independent forum to address children's specific needs.