Find a Pediatrician
You've probably given a lot of thought to the name for your new baby. But have you started thinking about the name of your new baby's doctor? You should choose a doctor for your new baby about three months before your due date.
You will be seeing and talking to this physician a lot - particularly in the first year of your baby's life - so you'll want to be sure the doctor meets all your needs, from participating in your insurance plan to being the best fit for your parenting style. This information can help you make that decision. At the bottom of this page, there is a link to a downloadable brochure which includes all this information plus a list of pediatricians and family practice physicians on staff at Parker Adventist Hospital.
Getting Started - As Easy as 1, 2, 3
Step 1 - Determine your family's needs. The first thing to think about is whether you prefer a pediatrician or a family doctor.
- Pediatricians are specialists who focus on providing care solely to children. In addition to four years of medical school, they must complete a three-year pediatric residency. Pediatricians are certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, and they must recertify every seven years. They continually learn about new developments in children's health care and often have subspecialties, such as pediatric cardiology.
- Family practice physicians train to treat patients of all ages, so your entire family can see the same doctor. Plus, your child can keep the same doctor into adulthood. They also complete four years of medical school and a three-year family medicine residency, with part of the training devoted to pediatric care. A family doctor may have a greater understanding of family health history and dynamics that may benefit your baby.
Once you make this decision, look over the list of physicians provided in the link at the bottom of the page, and then talk to your obstetrician, family and friends for their recommendations. Find out which doctors are in your health plan and which offices are convenient for you. If the doctors have websites, check those out.
Step 2 - Interview several doctors. Once you have narrowed your list to 2-3 physicians, you should interview them before your baby is born. Most physicians provide complimentary 30-minute in-person interviews to expectant parents.
Step 3 - Observe and ask questions. Use our Baby's First Doctor Checklist to observe the office and staff, and ask questions of the doctor. Aside from practical considerations of costs and location, your top concern should be your comfort level with the doctor's philosophy and personality.