Shopping for a Pediatrician

Here are a few tips to help make an informed decision when choosing a medical practitioner for your baby:

  • Type of medical practitioner – do you want a family doctor (specializes in family medicine and will see the whole family), pediatrician (specializes in children) or a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP – master’s degree in nursing, specializing in children). All are great options, it just depends on what and who you feel most comfortable with.
  • You have time to research while pregnant so take the time to make an informed decision. Your baby will need to see their practitioner a few days after birth so it is in your best interest to have chosen practitioner rather than randomly getting assigned to one.
  • Do your research on the practitioners – medical specialties, background, where they were trained, gender, nationality, languages spoken, make sure the pediatrician is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) etc – different criteria are important to different people.
  • Once you have narrowed it down to a few potential practitioners, interview them in person. Ask these questions: philosophies, location of office, office hours, staff personalities, solo practice or group practice, what hospital is the practitioner affiliated with, is the doctor accessible by phone or email, how long is a typical appointment, are same day appointments available etc.
  • Last but not least, if you choose a practitioner and you are not happy with your decision then you have every right to switch to someone else. The most important thing is that your child is well taken care of and that you and your child are comfortable with him/her.