How to Choose a Doctor for Your Baby
You may want to choose a pediatrician, a family practitioner, or a nurse practitioner. A pediatrician is trained in childhood illnesses and normal growth and development. A family practitioner treats patients of all ages and can treat anyone in the family. Nurse practitioners are trained in graduate school to provide care for common childhood illnesses. They are also trained in normal growth and development.
HELP! I want to find someone who shares my philosophy of parenting. I want to feel comfortable talking about my thoughts and concerns about my child’s health. It is important to me that my child’s health care provider trusts my intuition.
Here is a list of suggestions about how to choose a health care provider for your child.
- Ask your insurer for a list of approved providers.
- Call your local hospital or clinic for a list of providers accepting new patients.
- Ask family and friends for references.
- Set up a consultation before your baby is born. Check to see if there is a fee for this visit.
If you set up a consultation here are some questions and tips for that visit.
- Where did you do your training?
- How long have you been in practice?
- Do you practice by yourself or with a group?
- With which hospitals are you affiliated?
- What insurance plans do you accept?
- What are your office hours? Who do I call after hours?
- What is your office policy about phone calls? For example, if I call with a medical question how will my call be handled and by whom?
- How do you and your office handle emergencies?
- What happens when you are not available or not on call?
- What is the average waiting time for an appointment?
- What are your views on breast and bottle feeding?
- Do you have a lactation consultant on staff? How do I access that person as a new mother?
- Are there separate well baby and sick baby areas in your waiting room?
- Tell me about your staff and their credentials.
- Does your office offer any special services or classes for new patients?
- Come early and sit in the waiting room to check out the atmosphere. Watch how the staff relates to the patients.
Here is a list of questions to ask yourself after the consultation.
- Would I be able to ask this person any question, no matter how silly it might seem?
- Did I feel comfortable talking with this person and the office staff?
- Is the staff friendly and efficient?
- Is the office easy to get to? Is the staff easy to reach in case of emergency?
- Is the office friendly to children and adults?
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 02/13/2013
Copyright © 02/13/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7018
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