Choosing the Right Doctor: Questions to Ask a Pediatrician


This morning my husband and I went in for our first pediatric consultation. We’re pushing it a little because I’m nearly 34 weeks pregnant, but it’s definitely better to be late than to never do it.

We initially asked our friends and co-workers where they take their kids since personal recommendation is always best, then we checked out websites and prayed about where to try.

Next we started formulating some questions to ask the doctor at our visit. We found some helpful questions online and used them to help spark any other questions we might want to ask.

I figured I would share these questions in hopes to help other first time mamas in the same boat. A lot of these questions can be answered by looking at the office’s website or brochure.

Questions for the Pediatrician:

[   ] How long have you been practicing?

[   ] What are your hours? Do you offer evenings or weekends?

[   ] How often do you want to see the baby in the first year? Why?

[   ] Do you offer same-day sick appointments? How far in advance do well appointments need to be scheduled?

[   ] What if my baby gets sick when the office is closed? Who covers in an emergency if you aren’t on call?

[   ] Is this a solo or group practice? If it’s solo, who covers when you are gone? If it’s a group, how often will we see you, and how often will we see other members?

[   ] Do you have separate sick and well waiting rooms?

[   ] Do you respond to questions by e-mail? Do you accept calls for routine and non-emergency questions?

[   ] Will your initial meeting with my baby be at the hospital or the first checkup? What is your schedule for well baby checkups?

[   ] Will you discuss my child’s general growth and issues like discipline and social development?

[   ] What are your views on…Bottle feeding? Parenting techniques? Getting babies to sleep? Alternative medicine? Antibiotics? Immunizations? Childhood obesity?

[   ] Is there an extra charge for…Advice calls during the day? Advice calls after hours? Medication refills? Filling out forms? Will any other fees apply?

[   ] What tests are handled in the office, and what is done elsewhere? Where?

[   ] What is your schedule for vaccinations?

[   ] Is there thiomersal in any of these vaccinations?

[   ] How do you feel about modfied schedules? Do you offer a modified schedule? Does my child have to get the Hep B vaccine since I do not have the disease? Have you seen any major reactions to vaccines in this practice as well as in the time you’ve been practicing as a whole?

[   ] Do you believe there’s a link between autism and vaccines? What about other neurological diseases?

Questions for ourselves.

[  ] Do they take our insurance?

[  ] Was the office clean?

[  ] Was the waiting room kid-friendly, with toys and books?

[  ] How soon could the interview be scheduled? How long were you in the waiting room?

[  ] Was the office staff helpful? Were the nurses friendly?

[  ] Was the interview rushed? Did the doctor seem open to questions?

[  ] Did the communication feel natural? Was the doctor easy to understand?

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