After focusing throughout your pregnancy on eating the right foods, getting enough rest, how well your baby is growing and if he or she is moving enough, it is understandable that you want the very best for your unborn baby. Choosing a good doctor to care for your little one is a big part of ensuring that your baby continues to be healthy and receives excellent medical attention during its formative years.
Pediatricians are doctors who have completed three years of specialty training in the health and development of infants and children. As a general rule, pediatricians have more in depth training in the health, diseases and medical needs of children than any other type of physician.
Consider visiting with a few pediatricians before making a decision as to whom you will entrust your baby. Not only should they have a warm, caring demeanor, they should also be interested in your concerns and wishes as parents and be a good listener.
Good pediatricians are not just well trained in the treatment of disease, but also should be very proficient in developmental medicine and disease prevention. In addition, being board certified means a pediatrician has passed examinations ensuring their proficiency in the area of pediatric medicine.
While younger doctors may be less experienced, they may be more current with new developments. Older doctors may be more experienced but be sure they do not anticipate retiring before your children are grown. Ultimately, there may be no real substitute for a visit with your future pediatrician in person to see if you feel comfortable and at ease with them as your
You should start searching for a pediatrician during the final months of your pregnancy. Since your baby’s doctor will be an important part of your child’s development and medical care, try to have both parents present for your visit with the pediatricians you are interested in. Most offices are glad to visit with you as expectant parents before your delivery.
A great place to find a good pediatrician is to start by asking friends and perhaps co-workers about where they take their children and what experiences they have had with their pediatrician. The American Academy of Pediatrics and HealthyChildren.org can help you to locate board-certified pediatricians in your area, as can your local hospital which often keep lists of pediatricians that provide newborn care in their hospital.
To help you organize your choices in pediatricians, we have arranged the following checklists, with additional spaces for you to add other important topics you desire to know more about.
|Affiliation with my hospital|
|Male versus female|
|years in practice|
|years practicing in my area|
|Accepts my insurance|
|Male infant circumcision|
|Flexible clinic hours|
|Cleanliness of office|
|On-call physician 24/7|