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Tips for Finding a Pediatrician
What to look for in your child's doctor

Finding a doctor that fits your style is as important as finding a comfortable outfit that fits your body. Ask friends and relatives for names of their pediatricians, then set up some interviews so you can ask questions ahead of time and insure a good fit. Here are some tips for talking to your doctor:
  • What are the office hours?
  • Are there other partners?
  • What is the procedure for emergencies at night or on weekends?
  • Will the doctor come to the phone during office hours?
  • What is the average waiting time for appointments?
  • Is there a telephone hour before or after the work day?
  • What are the standard fees?
  • How is payment handled?
  • What HMO of insurance is the doctor affiliated with?
  • How does the doctor support breastfeeding?
  • What is the office policy for routine blood testing?
  • What is the doctor's opinion of newborn sleeping arrangements?
  • When does the doctor recommend starting solid foods?
  • What is the doctor's view on weaning?
  • How does the doctor help you understand your child's development?
  • What is the policy on immunizations?
  • How often will you see the doctor for well-baby checkups?
  • How does the doctor recommend you prepare an older child for an office visit?
  • Are there separate waiting areas for sick and well children?
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education