Starting your search for a trustworthy pediatrician early on in your pregnancy can help reduce stress on yourself before the baby arrives. It can be hard to know the right questions to ask when it comes to your first child, so we created this list of questions to bring with you to your initial consultation.
1.What insurance do you accept?
This should be one of the first questions you should ask your pediatric office if you have insurance and are looking to use it. This is an easy way to start narrowing down your search for the right practice, right away. Pediatric offices vary in partnerships with insurance companies, so it’s important to find a practice that accepts your coverage. If you have a pediatrician in mind and are wondering if your insurance will cover it, you can search the ‘insurance information’ page on a practice’s page like “Euclid Pediatrics” to find out
2. What is your background?
Initially asking this question will give you an insight into who the doctor is, their credentials, and whether you’d like to work with them in the future. This will give you information about where they went to school, where they completed their training or residency, as well as what types of certifications they have received, if any. This can also give you information about their philosophies and how they approach medicine.
3. Do you have any specialties?
This question can give you more information about the doctor, as well as the rest of the staff. If they specialize on certain subjects, you can rely on their practice versus having to find another doctor in the future. If you are looking for a pediatrician when your child is older, you can be confident that your doctor is already well-versed and knowledgeable of certain conditions and diagnoses. If you are still pregnant with your first child, you can keep in mind what medical conditions run in your family to have an idea of what specialties could be relevant to your child.
4. Do you offer lactation support?
Many pediatric offices have either a lactation consultant on staff or have one they recommend to their patients. If you are planning on breastfeeding your child, this can be a great resource for you to use in the future. If they do offer lactation support, it can be helpful to meet with this team and interview them about themselves as well.
5. What is your after-hours care procedure?
It’s important to know the office procedures for patients that need care when they aren’t open. Offices sometimes offer a nurses line or even access to physicians in case they are needed after-hours.
6. What is your policy on vaccinations?
It’s important to find a pediatrician that is on the same page as you about your child’s health. You never want to put your child’s health in the hands of someone you don’t trust or would make different decisions than you.
Make sure to show up to your initial appointment with all of these questions written down, as well as any others you want to ask the doctor. This way, you won’t forget anything while you’re meeting with the physician. It’s also a good idea to take notes on their responses, so you can compare the answers you receive from different pediatricians. Once you gather all the information from the doctors, you should have all the information you need to make your decision. If you don’t find a pediatrician that fits into all your criteria on your initial search, don’t get discouraged to keep looking for the perfect pediatrician for you and your family. Finding a good pediatrician now can help make this time easier for you and reduce the chance of having to switch to a different pediatrician in the future.