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Advice on picking a pediatrician?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Our provider asked us at our last appointment if we had picked a pediatrician yet and to be honest, it wasn't something that had even crossed my mind at this point (I know, it's probably terrible but I've been so busy with just learning about baby/pregnancy/L&D/life in general that I just haven't gotten that far yet!). 

 

I started poking around on this site to see if there were any suggestions for natural-parenting-friendly providers in my area.  I narrowed it down and called one today to ask if he was taking new patients -- and I got a firm "we can't make an appointment for you until you are home with baby."  I just wanted to know if it was even going to be possible to use him.  And I've heard about "interviewing" pediatricians -- that's what I thought we'd be able to do but I felt like I just got shut down right away because I don't already have a baby. 

 

So...how am I supposed to go about finding a pediatrician?  And for those of you that have "interviewed" pediatricians, what sort of questions were on your list?

post #2 of 22

I'm required by my birth center to have a pediatrician (or family physician) for my baby before birth! Like, I need a letter signed by the physician. It's weird that the office you called shut you down like that - I'd think they'd be in favor of parents setting things up ahead of time. 

 

I haven't called yet, but I got the name of a pediatrician from an online acquaintance who lives in my city & has a 4mo old who was born at home. He got the doctor's name from a friend who is vegan (& has a kid, obviously)... so two satisfied sets of parents on the crunchy spectrum seems like a good sign to me. Plus the doctor is in network for my insurance and in a convenient location, and I liked the info I read about the practice and her specific profile on their website. 

 

post #3 of 22

Eesh, that sucks. I think I would probably call again and ask specifically about interviewing the ped. Also, ask what their policy is if the hospital wants the ped to see the baby while still checked in (even if you're not planning a hospital birth). That is what my hospital required.

 

I did find my ped here on MDC. I asked in the local tribes forum and got the same recommendation from multiple folks crunchier than I, so she sounded great. And I adore her so very much!

post #4 of 22

Are you looking strictly at peds or family practitioners too?  We use a family practitioner and we all see her, she even did my prenatal care with my first.  I would ask local doulas or your LLL.  That's where I got the name of ours and she's awesome.

post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey693 View Post

Are you looking strictly at peds or family practitioners too?  We use a family practitioner and we all see her, she even did my prenatal care with my first.  I would ask local doulas or your LLL.  That's where I got the name of ours and she's awesome.



I very strongly second this!  All my friends who use actual "peds" have a battle when it comes to so many issues.  But myself and several other friends have ditched the peds years ago and switched to our usual family physicians and haven't looked back!  Ours is incredible; not only does he treat me, but he wrote the script for our ultrasound, sees my children, and has seen our newborns.  He, in fact, urged us *not* to take our newborns in right away like most peds insist, because he'd rather they not be exposed to sick germs unless they absolutely need to be seen.  I love using a family doctor and won't go back to a ped!!

post #6 of 22

I strongly third this!  Obviously, this is my first, but I'm using a family practice doc for my prenatal care and birth and she'll be the wee one's doc when it arrives.  She is just amazing, and I've heard from lots of nurses and so on (including my SIL who deals with doctors every day) that family practice docs are much less likely to medicalize parenting.  My friend who has a pediatrician has already tangled with her on issues like sleeping and night breast feeding.  That being said, I had pediatricians growing up and loved most of them, so it really depends.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thandiwe View Post



I very strongly second this!  All my friends who use actual "peds" have a battle when it comes to so many issues.  But myself and several other friends have ditched the peds years ago and switched to our usual family physicians and haven't looked back!  Ours is incredible; not only does he treat me, but he wrote the script for our ultrasound, sees my children, and has seen our newborns.  He, in fact, urged us *not* to take our newborns in right away like most peds insist, because he'd rather they not be exposed to sick germs unless they absolutely need to be seen.  I love using a family doctor and won't go back to a ped!!



 

post #7 of 22

omg, this is not even on my radar. not sure what my birth center's policy is, i'll have to ask. love the advice regarding the GPs...i don't love my current PCP practice so this might be a good time to switch. 

 

hippiekangaroo, i am surprised at the reaction you got from that ped's office. my sense would be that you'd need to know who will be your baby's doctor in case (god forbid) something happened. i have zero personal experience but my nephew had jaundice (relatively straight forward issue) and was admitted to the NICU and my sis-in-law dealt with his ped during that time. and as others have said, many hospitals require that you have a ped lined up. 

 

colleen

post #8 of 22

I chose my family doctor when Elsa was born, and he doesn't have privileges at the hospital where I went, so the on-call ped did all the in-hospital stuff. 

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninetales View Post

I chose my family doctor when Elsa was born, and he doesn't have privileges at the hospital where I went, so the on-call ped did all the in-hospital stuff. 



gotcha! makes sense.

post #10 of 22

I would also ask parent friends of yours who they use (if they are on the same page as you). I found mine kind of by accident. I was told about a certain clinic and some docs, but none of them were in the clinic near me. I just went online and looked at who people recommended and picked that doc. I love her!

post #11 of 22

I am still making a decision but I asked LLL members.   

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

We are relatively new to the area where we live so I don't know a lot of people with kids who I could ask.  And although I'm pretty low on the "crunchy" spectrum I probably wouldn't be able to think of a single person here who would be able to recommend a doc here that would be natural-parenting-friendly (depending on how the dice fall with parenting between me and my decidedly un-crunchy husband, I'd still like to have a doc that would support those non-traditional decisions that we'd make).

 

I found the tribe for my area and gathered a few suggestions from there.  That's where I picked the name of the doc that I called (also, he's board certified in Internal Medicine and Peds so he could be my doc as well if I wanted, so hopefully that's a good sign and more like the "family practitioners" you ladies were mentioning).  I recently found info on some midwives in my area and a Holistic Moms Network so I probably try to contact them for some advice too (and I hadn't considered LLL -- thanks Honey693).  My insurance doesn't cover midwives and there are no birthing centers here so I was very limited in my birthing choices (maybe next time around I'll consider doing hb without insurance paying but we just can't afford that right now unfortunately since I haven't had steady work in 4 years). 

 

Maybe I just went about the call the wrong way since I don't really know what I'm doing.  I agree I should probably call back and ask about setting up a time to sit down with the doc.  He's affiliated with the hospital system where I'm doing my delivery, but I don't know if he has priveledges at that actual hospital since his clinic is in the next town over.  I didn't consider the baby needing to be seen by a doc before leaving the hospital, Aimee...... sheesh, still so much to learn!

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

What kind of questions would you ladies ask in an "interview"?

post #14 of 22

Still in the researching phase myself.

The things that are important to me so far are:

Open to limited vaccines

Very strongly support BF

Familiar with intact  

See the same doctor most of the time

I am not sure how to address getting the answers to these questions, but pretty sure LLL mom's wouldn't recommend those who weren't BF supporters.  

 

post #15 of 22

If there's a local Attachment Parenting International group in your area, you could get on their email list. I get digest updates and have a natural community where I can get advice if I can't find it anywhere else. It's a pretty good resource. 

 

http://www.attachmentparenting.org/groups/groups.php

post #16 of 22

OP - If this doc is also a family practice doc, could you just schedule a physical for yourself with him/her? That way you could get a feel for how they practice, and probably ask the doctor a few questions, and most likely have an easier time setting up a formal interview time if you wanted to.

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 

monkeyscience you read my mind!  I don't really have a reason to be seen by a doc right now but since the first question when I called was "are you currently a patient at this clinic?" I figured that might be the easiest route to get access to the doc.

post #18 of 22

When I had my daughter, we were able to go in and interview various pediatricians before making a decision. I took questions with me about issues that were important to me (such as selective/delayed vax...that had the most conflicting viewpoints and I didn't want to be lectured every time we went in for an appointment!). I would search/ask on here and try and ask parents with similar beliefs as you in your area. Good luck!

post #19 of 22

I haven't read all of the responses, so I apologize if I'm repeating what someone else has said.  Longevity, rapport, and the ability to deal well with multiple ages were all important to me.  (Accepting our immunization and respecting our circumcision preferences were an added bonus.)  When we were new to the area and I was pregnant with my son, I asked other moms who seem to share my parenting style.  I've asked baby-wearing strangers at Target, women from our church, and friends with children.  I've lucked into a great pediatrician and we've been with her for about 8 years.  Because my oldest daughter is 15, it was important that we have a female provider.  The ped is no nonsense, talks directly to my daughter and not to me (although she does include me... her main goal is to help my daughter be responsible for her own health), and shoots from the hip.  On the other hand, she will walk into the room next to us and coo at a newborn and reassure parents calmly.  So for me, finding someone we could work with long-term was ideal.  Of course, it helps that her son was in Cub Scouts with our son for a while and the kids got to know her a little bit outside of the office.  She seemed more human to them.

 

Always remember that you are just as important as any other person in that building.  Emergencies often happen and cause doctors to run late.  When that happens, I try to remember the times we've been there on emergency appointments.  They should tell you that up front and communicate with you.  If they are habitually late or behind or don't communicate with you, that's a sign that something is wrong with that office... and it's time to shop around!

post #20 of 22

We went with someone who my pretty crunchy midwives recommended. :D The words "he's very breastfeeding friendly" were all I needed to hear. ~We vaccinate- DH works in a hospital scratch that ~ he's in 5 different hospitals on a weekly basis with his job and we go to visit ALL THE TIME (his long hours mean if we don't he never gets to see Mr Squish). Had he had a coding from home job, we would have definitely delayed most and turned down some of the vaccinations. But with all the nasty stuff HE is exposed to (he has to go up to patient rooms DAILY) we didn't want to risk that. But our situation is unique. So finding someone who was ok with not vaccinating was not a priority with us. He didn't have us issue with us delaying a few of them. The chicken pox one comes to mind. 

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