When it comes time to hire a pediatrician, parents have a lot of questions. What should you ask when interviewing pediatricians? Here are the top questions to ask.
How long have you been a practicing pediatrician?
When it comes to hiring a pediatrician, some parents may be torn between whether to hire a pediatrician who has years of experience or hiring a new pediatrician. There are pros and cons to both options, and it ultimately depends on the individual family’s needs.
A pediatrician with many years of experience may be more expensive, but they will also likely have a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw from. They will also likely be more familiar with the latest treatment options and research. But older, established pediatricians might not be taking on new patients, or it might take a while to get a new patient appointment on their schedule.
On the other hand, a new pediatrician may not have the same depth of knowledge and experience as an established one, but may be more affordable, accept new patients, and offer more flexibility in scheduling as they work to grow their practice.
What are your pediatric credentials?
One important factor to consider is the doctor’s credentials. Make sure to ask about the pediatrician’s education and experience with children before making your hire.
All pediatricians have the appropriate training and credentials needed to provide care for children. Pediatricians typically undergo four years of medical school, followed by three years of residency in pediatrics, so you can rest assured if they’ve earned the title “pediatrician,” they are appropriately trained and ready to handle the job.
However, some may choose to specialize in a particular area of pediatrics such as neonatology, oncology, or allergy and immunology, and will get additional certifications and credentials in those fields. If you need a pediatrician that specializes in a specific disorder or disease, look for additional credentials and experience in those areas.
What are your thoughts on vaccines?
When interviewing pediatricians, one of the key topics you should discuss is vaccines.
Pediatricians have a range of opinions on vaccines, so it’s important to hire one whose views align with yours.
Some pediatricians believe that all vaccines are necessary and that they should be administered on schedule. Others think that some vaccines are unnecessary or may cause more harm than good. It’s important to find a pediatrician who shares your views on vaccines and will work with you to create a vaccine schedule for your child.
What is your policy on sick visits?
Most pediatrician offices have a policy for sick visits. It’s important to be familiar with the policy before you need to use it.
Some pediatric offices require that you call the office before coming in so that the staff can prepare for your visit.
Others have specific hours reserved just for sick child visits. Some offices allow you to make an appointment during these times and others offer sick visits on a first-come, first-served basis. If this is the case with your doctor, make sure you get there at the beginning of the sick visit window to increase your chances of seeing a doctor. But make sure you and your child have something to do while waiting.
What is your approach to behavior management?
It’s important that you and your pediatrician are on the same page when it comes to your approach to behavior management.
Some pediatricians believe in using a stern hand to punish bad behavior. Others take a gentler approach, reasoning with the child and helping them learn from their mistakes.
It’s important to find a pediatrician who shares your views on how to handle misbehaving children and will work with you to create a plan that works for your family.
How do you communicate with parents?
One of the most important factors to consider when hiring a pediatrician is how they will communicate with parents.
There are a number of different ways that a pediatrician might choose to communicate with parents.
Some pediatricians prefer to talk on the phone, while others prefer email. Some pediatricians like to meet with parents in person. Some will send regular updates about their child’s health by mail or email.
It’s important to hire a pediatrician who will use the communication method that works best for you.
Do you have experience caring for children with my child’s condition?
If your child has a specific condition, you’ll want to ask the pediatrician if he has experience treating it.
Some pediatricians have a lot of experience treating a variety of common conditions, while others may specialize in treating certain conditions.
It’s important to find a pediatrician who has experience treating your child’s specific condition and who can provide you with the best care possible.
Mistakes Parents Make When Hiring a Pediatrician
Elizabeth Bowen is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Your Corner Pediatrics, a mobile pediatric service in Indianapolis. Here are some of the top mistakes she sees parents making when deciding on a pediatrician:
-Hiring someone before meeting them and/or visiting their practice. It seems silly, but you should LIKE your child’s provider. There are so many options of great providers and there is no reason to settle. If you do not like them or their office, your children will pick up on it.
-Bedside manner is HUGE with kids. You want someone who is experienced at putting kids at ease. You want the office to be pediatric-friendly. And most importantly, you want someone who is going to give your children (and you!) the time they deserve.
Moms Give Advice on Hiring a Pediatrician
We ended up choosing a pediatrician because he was the only male at our clinic and I thought I wanted my son to have a male doctor. Well, after a few visits with him our personalities just didn’t seem to add up and it didn’t seem like he was taking the time to really talk through things with us being first-time parents. My son ended up having a series of ear infections and I also took him to the doctor a couple of times with a cold just to make sure everything was ok. During these visits, we picked a different doctor every time and really vibed with a female pediatrician so we switched our primary to her and are so happy. Long story short, I don’t know if there are specific questions and you might have to just see how you feel after a few visits.
I read through reviews and recommendations. I paid attention to how gentle and careful they were, how professional and easy to get along with they were, and how good of a website and building they have. I wanted a well-established pediatrician. They’re not perfect, but they’re easy and kind to communicate with.
My pediatrician’s office requires vaccines and will not see unvaccinated children unless they are medically fragile and cannot have vaccines. That may be a good question to ask.
I looked up reviews then decided. I didn’t know for sure until 1-2 visits based on the doctor’s energy and how they responded to my concerns and how my child responded to them. The first year for my daughter I switched doctors four times until I found the right one. I do the same for dentists.