A young woman who was about to have her first baby contacted me about how to find a pediatrician. I sent her the list of questions, I have given countless parents, to ask the pediatrician. My first advice was to do some networking with mothers and fathers who have young children and see what doctors they use. However, a word of caution is that the most popular pediatrician or family doctor may not be the best one. I had a radio interview with an important broadcaster and heard his complaints about his child's pediatrician."Why don't you change?" I asked. The man said all his friends went to the man and he would be uncomfortable changing. What I wanted to tell him was that the doctor had formerly been good, but had become lazy and was not up-to-date. However, I didn't say anything because I didn't think he would listen.
You want to schedule an appointment with the doctor you chose and see if you like the doctor and his or her office staff and how you are treated by the staff. Next, you want to find out if the doctor sees you or has personnel other than a physician see you if he is busy. You also want to be sure the doctor will answer your questions if you need to ask a question during the day or in the evening. Will the doctor meet you at his or her office after hours or in an emergency room? If not, that is not a doctor you want for your child. ER doctors often have minimal pediatric training, so you want your child's own doctor who knows you and your family. Find out, too if the doctor is board-certified. Also, who covers for him or her when the doctor is away?