Q. How can I find a good pediatrician for my baby?
A. Make a list of the doctors your friends recommend and then call their offices and ask for a meet-and-greet appointment. (Pick up on subtle clues by listening to how well the staff handles telephone calls. Are they polite? Do they keep you on hold forever?) Most pediatricians are willing to meet with expecting parents or talk with them by phone. You're going to be spending a lot of time with your baby's pediatrician, so it's important to choose someone you like and respect and who has an efficient office. Here are some questions to ask the office staff or the doctor:
- What days and hours are you available? (Some pediatricians offer weekend appointments for sick children.)
- How are middle-of-the-night emergencies handled?
- Is my health insurance accepted? If so, does the office bill my insurance company, or do I have to pay up front and be reimbursed?
- Is there someone on staff who can help instruct me on breastfeeding?
- To what hospitals do you admit patients?
- Are same-day appointments available?
- What are your thoughts on circumcising a baby?
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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