How to Select a Pediatrician

Questions for Interviewing Potential Pediatricians

  • Are you a parent? Don't feel awkward asking this personal question. "You're trusting this doctor with your most precious possession, and you should ask what you need to know to feel comfortable," says Dr. Alessandrini. Many parents like their child's doctor to have the extra empathy and hands-on experience that comes from being a mom or dad. But childless pediatricians are also great doctors. It's really a personal decision.
  • How do you feel about breastfeeding or circumcision? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends, as do numerous studies, that a baby be breastfed for his entire first year. Doctors vary on how much they press the issue; likewise, there are opposing sides to the circumcision debate. If you have strong feelings either way, make sure your doctor agrees with your view -- or at least respects it.
  • How do you feel about vaccines? Keeping with AAP recommendations, most pediatricians urge parents to vaccinate their children. Some doctors respect parents who choose not to, but others are so strongly in favor of vaccines that they refuse to treat children who aren't on an immunization schedule.

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