Yesterday, we had our first appointment with a pediatrician recommended by our gynecologist. It went better than I expected. As first time parents we didn't know exactly what to expect. We knew it was important for our pediatrician to be available after hours for emergencies. We were also concerned with the cleanliness of the office and if it was a solo practice or group practice, which would tell us if we would be seeing one person most of the time or be shifted around with different doctors. My wife's mother told us you'll just know if they are a good fit by how you feel when you enter the office and meet the pediatrician for the first time. She was so right. We entered the office and right away felt comfortable. We were impressed by the cleanliness of the office and the friendliness of the staff. The Doctor came to greet us out in the waiting room and took us back into his office. He started the conversation out with a joke to lighten the mood, which was nice to see he could be light hearted. He already had a whole pitch that you could tell he was use to giving all first time parents, however it really did answer all the questions we had plus some. After 30 years of practice, i'm sure he knew exactly what most people wanted to hear and that was fine with us. To help all of my other first time blissful parents out there, I will give a list of important questions you may want to consider!
- Do they take your insurance?
- Is the office clean and staff friendly/helpful?
- How long do you have to wait?
- Is it a solo or group practice? (If it is a solo practice you will see one doctor most of the time and you are able to establish a relationship with them.)
- How many years have they been in practice?
- What are the office hours?
- How can they be reached after hours for emergencies or a sick child?
- Are calls for routine /non-emergency questions encouraged?
- Do they keep up with the latest medical advances?
- When will be our first visit after the delivery?
There were also some more personal questions that my wife wanted to ask to get to know him better. -What do you like best about your job? Do you have children?
It may also be helpful to know your pediatricians views on breastfeeding, antibiotics, vaccinations etc. as you may want to have a pediatrician who has similiar views for raising and caring for your child as you do.
Lastly, as much as we liked our Doctor. It is important to meet with at least 2 or 3 pediatricians. You may want to have a few experiences to narrow down your choice. I know that only time will tell. We are hoping for the best and going with our intuition!
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