Post # 1
I would actually start by talking to other moms in your area. Find moms that share your lifestyle and parenting style. If you are going to be a non-vaccinator, then find other moms that are non-vaccinators and find out who they recommend… Some practices will judge you, and you don’t want to be at those practices. If you are more interventional, then find a practice that matches those needs (have the ability to see you on an as needed basis and have access to immediate sick child appointments).
Once you identify a doctor or practice you like you can go for a meet and greet appointment, where you’ll have a chance to ask questions.
Ask the doctor if they maintain a nighttime nurse triage line or if the doctors take “mommy call”. Ask what hospital they admit to and whether they have privileges or if the children are admitted to a hospitalist service. See how many patients are in their practice… Better to be in a group practice than a solo practice, as you’ll probably need services at some point when your pediatrician is not around.
If your family and child is healthy, then it’s not necessary to have a pediatrician. You could get away with a family practice doc… But as soon as things are a little more complex or if you think you’ll have lots of general pediatrics questions, you’re going to want a pediatrician.
I wanted someone who takes time with their patients and does a fair amount of expectant counseling, which means that they’ll probably often run a little bit late and they won’t be someone who just finished residency. I’m also picking someone who is very tenacious. They are the type of person who will follow up on every consult, every referral, every heart murmur.
I happen to know who all those people in Seattle are, but the best way to determine these things for yourself is to talk to other moms… and you can ask the pediatricians you interview, “Who do you take your kids to?”. If you hear a certain name over and over, go to that doctor!
Most importantly, you have to feel comfortable with that person. Meet and greets cannot be underestimated for this reason. We love doing them!
Post # 3
Agreed! Although sometimes, even though other moms, or even family may not do things the same as you, the dr may be more flexible. For instance, my pediatrician has no problem with my delayed vax and skipping the ones I feel are not needed. He’s great at explaining things which is awesome The rest of my husbands family vax without questions. They all use him as well.
He has, I think 5 kids of his own so it’s nice to know that he’s has some real life practice too!
Post # 4
My good friend from college is applying for his residency at the children’s hospital here, I’m hoping so hard that he gets it so that in a few years when we decide to have kids, he can be their pediatrician. 🙂 If that doesn’t work out though, I’ll be sure to hit you up for your recommendations in Seattle, MrsDG!
Post # 5
Littlest, I’ve got you covered! I could recommend 15 AWESOME pediatricians off the top of my head in a heartbeat 🙂
Post # 6
I’m not even planning on kids yet, and this is one of those things that already stresses me out. There aren’t that many pediatricians in this area, and I haven’t really heard anything great about any of them. And I can tell you I’m going to be anal about vaccinations. We actually only have like 2 decent OB/GYN’s, too, so it’s slim pickin’s around here.
Post # 7
Mrs. DG: HUGE thumbs up.
@bree72: I’d recommend joining a local MOMS Club if you can. I made lots of friends that way, and got great recommendations for doctors, dentists, preschools, etc.
Post # 8
DG, do you have advice on picking a doctor in a rural area? Our insurance covers one group pediatrics practice up here (there might be only one pediatrics practice to begin with), and of those 5 doctors, only three of them are here full-time (the others fill-in as needed from the office in Gardnerville). So we already know which practice we’ll go to, but I’m not sure how you go about picking one doctor out of the practice? Are there any etiquette rules we should follow? Can we interview all of them at the same time to find our best fit?
Post # 9
Good question Mrs. Spring. I happen to know the docs in your area, so I could help via PM, but it is really important to do your research on a group practice before you go in. You can imagine that it would be a little awkward for the doctors if you are going in and interviewing all of them… Plus frequently a practice covers one “meet and greet” since they do that pro-bono and it is not a re-imbursed expense for them.
So at least try to narrow it down to a couple in the practice that you think you are really going to like before you go in. If you don’t click with the first one you interview, it’s totally acceptable to interview another 🙂
Post # 10
Good to know, DG. I’ll also PM you. 🙂
Post # 11
oh gosh, this is a GREAT point to bring up and great advice. I don’t have any kids, but as a nanny, I often went with the family I used to work for to the dr appointments and stuff. They didnt really like all the vaccinations he had to get and would try talking to the Drs about it and some were really just downright rude. The family was doing the 3 separate shots instead of the MMR (though I don’t think you can do that anymore) and one of the drs came in (not his regular dr, not that she was great either) and was like “oh, so you like torturing your child.” The sad part is he had an intern with him so he’s probably teaching the intern all that stuff as well. Seriously, it was ridiculous. I don’t have anything against vaccinating personally, but I can respect others who might be warry of it (the parents werent from the US and weren’t used to such vaccination practices) but that’s no excuse to be rude. I also remember being a kid and still remember the good dr vs the bad one. Most of the kids at my school all had the same pediatrician as us since he was great, but there was this other guy there who was a nightmare and just shouldn’t be working with kids.