A pediatrician wraps a cast around the arm of a little girl

5 Questions You Should Ask Your Pediatrician

If you’re looking for a new pediatrician, it can take a lot of energy and effort to find a doctor who is going to be best suited for both you and your child. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a new parent or have kids who are half grown; you want to make sure that you find a doctor who will provide excellent care but who also aligns with your parenting and health philosophies. If you’re struggling to pinpoint how to tell if a pediatrician is right for your child or not, it’s best to start with a good set of interview questions and let their answers speak for themselves.

“What is Your Medical Background?”
One of the most important ways to tell whether or not a pediatrician provides excellent care is to ask where they attended school and where they did their medical residency. If you ask this question and you find out that they did their residency in a specialty outside of pediatrics, for instance, that’s a good sign that the pediatrician does not have the pediatric medical training that your really want for your child. Look for a pediatrician who has specialty training and a good medical school under their belt.

“Do You Have Any Subspecialties?”
If you’re looking for a doctor to treat a need specific to your child – for example, if your child has cancer or heart problems – it may be important to find a pediatrician who has subspecialty expertise. Common pediatric subspecialties include oncology, cardiology, developmental and behavior, or general surgery, among others.

“Do You Offer Same-Day Sick Appointments?”
It’s important to know if you’re only going to be able to get into to see your child’s doctor if you book an appointment six months in advance. Most pediatricians build same-day sick appointments into their schedule, but if they don’t, then you may have a tough time getting your son or daughter treatment when they catch the flu.

“How Are Phone Calls Handled in Your Office?”
If you call and ask your doctor a question, it’s important to know who answers the call, how your call will be treated, and how soon you’ll receive a return phone call if you leave a voicemail. You’ll also want to check how your pediatrician handles emergency calls.

“What is Your Philosophy on Child Health Issues (Breastfeeding, Immunizations, Co-Sleeping, etc.)?”
Different people have different beliefs about raising and nurturing children and babies. You want to make sure you and your pediatrician are compatible with those beliefs. If you’re against immunizations, for instance, you’ll need to find a doctor (although it may be difficult) who is going to be understanding and accepting of that philosophy.