Six Questions to Ask When Interviewing Pediatricians
Thankfully, we don’t have to do this. But we did need to do this when Sydnie was little.
Initially, we had gotten a word-of-mouth recommendation on a pediatrician, but about four years into our relationship with her, she decided to take early retirement.
At the time, we were happy with the practice as a whole, so we decided to just let them randomly assign her to a new pediatrician.
Big mistake. Huge.
So we had to take to interviewing pediatricians. But what questions to ask?
1. How often do we get to see you specifically? In some practices, a pediatrician is only in the office on certain days. Which means if you call for a sick appointment, you might get a different doctor. Is this a big deal to you? Which brings me to the next question …
2. How are sick appointments scheduled? Ideally, you’ll be with a practice that has slots available each and every day specifically for sick visits. Or extended hours. Either way. If you’ve got a kiddo with high fever and you’re worried, you don’t want to have to sit at Quickcare in order to get them seen.
3. What are your hospital affiliations? In our city, there are two major hospitals. One I love, one I loathe. And when I say loathe, I mean “sent our toddler out of the ER with an IV line still in her arm” kind of loathe. This was one of the big reasons we ultimately switched pediatricians … because she was affiliated with the hospital that I couldn’t stand.
4. How do you feel about antibiotics? We’re not a big “stuff them full of antibiotics” kind of family. So for us, it was important that we had a pediatrician that would look at natural methods before immediately prescribing a medication.
5. Are you respectful of a parent’s decision? In many ways, you have to take your doctor’s word for this. But by talking with them about a current hot button topic (breastfeeding, circumcision, etc) you can get a feel for where this potential doctor is at and how it aligns with your own beliefs.
6. What advice do you give to breastfeeding moms? This is obviously only applicable to mom’s that plan to breastfeed, but if you’re in that category, you want to know that if you’re having trouble, the pediatrician can be a resource. Or, at the very least, can point you in the direction of a lactation specialist or good support group.