The hunt for a good pediatrician should start before your baby is born. It takes time to conduct research and interview potential candidates. Because your baby will have at least six appointments in the first year of life alone, it's a decision that can't be taken lightly.
Compile a List of Potential Candidates
There are many ways to create your initial list of potential pediatricians for your baby. Include a few options in your immediate area because you'll want to be close to your baby's doctor in the event of illness or an emergency. Ask friends and family members for referrals, too. Often, someone who has had experience with a pediatrician can recommend one that will fit the needs of your baby and family. Your obstetrician will probably have a few recommendations because she'll know which of her physician colleagues have a good reputation.
Schedule an initial appointment with each of the pediatricians on your list. Most pediatricians have a day and time that they dedicate to meeting with expectant parents. Make a list of questions you want to ask and bring along a pencil to record answers. Do an Internet search for each doctor, as well, because you can find out additional information such as whether each is board certified in pediatrics or if they've been accused of any wrongdoing. You'll also be able to read reviews from other patients to get a more accurate picture of whether the doctor is the right fit for your family.
Consider the Options
Narrow down your list of potential pediatricians. Consider your personal values and compare them to each of the options on your list. For example, if you feel strongly about certain parenting choices, such as long-term or exclusive breastfeeding and co-sleeping, you'll want to select a pediatrician that has similar values who will support your parenting choices. Check to see if your choices accept your health insurance, as well. If you have additional questions or are waffling between two or three choices, call or email each of the doctors to ask your additional questions.
Once You've Made Your Choice
Choosing the right pediatrician, one like Mundelein Pediatrics, for your child is a big decision because, chances are, it's a relationship that will last for the next 18 years. That doesn't mean that your first choice always works out. Don't be nervous or worried about switching doctors if, after all your homework, the choice doesn't work for your family. Save your original list so you can refer back to it should you need to make a change.