Choosing a Pediatrician

There's so much to do before your baby arrives. Prepare the nursery. Clean the clothes. Complete a car seat safety check. Then add to the list that you must select a pediatrician before your child is born…it can all get a bit overwhelming.

Before you jump into the pediatrician search, consider the questions below to ensure that your child receives the best possible care.

Do they offer any free tours or classes prior to delivery?

Many pediatricians' offices will host baby classes throughout the year, right at their own location. These classes give you an opportunity to meet with doctors, tour the facility and ask questions. Not to mention you'll get great advice from a trusted expert (and maybe even some freebies!)

In addition, it's important to learn what type of classes your delivering hospital may offer. Your pediatric office classes and your hospital classes often complement each other and it is beneficial to attend all that are available.

Are they part of a network?

Pediatric offices are often a part of a larger network. By having multiple locations, you have a better opportunity to be seen when your child needs care. A large network also allows for countless services. These services could include express care locations – walk-in, after-hours care by pediatricianseducational programming, specialty services and overall improved access.

Are they affiliated with a children’s hospital?

Much like being a part of a larger network, having an affiliation with a children's hospital can allow for an abundance of resources and specialists to be right at your fingertips. You will have quick access to the very best pediatric specialists in your area.

Do they offer 24-hour access to pediatricians or nurses?

Access can come in many forms, like express care locations that offer walk-in, after-hours care by pediatricians. Access can also be in the form of in-office walk-in hours or even a pediatric help line. Children can get sick at the most unexpected times, so it's important to have a pediatric network that is always there for you and your child.

Do they offer specialty services?

As your child grows, they may need special care in a wide variety of areas. Whether it is ImPACT® testing, behavioral health, weight management or dental and dermatology services, it is important to be a part of a network that offers it all.

The continuity of care offered by a larger pediatric network between locations and specialists will allow each doctor that interacts with your child to know their own personal medical history and update it as they grow.

Have you taken into account the entire office experience?

It's important to meet with your pediatrician before delivering your baby to make sure that your personality matches well with the doctor's style. Some parents are analytical, while others need a softer approach to child care. Regardless of your personality, it is important that you are comfortable with your doctor and can always have open lines of communication.

It's also important to consider factors like proximity to your house, convenient hours and certain perks like free parking. Not to mention you should have a good rapport with the office staff so you and your family always feel welcomed and well taken after.