With a list of doctors in hand, call the office of each. Explain that you are looking for a pediatrician for your child, and inquire about the doctor's background and training, as well as general office procedures. Here is some key information you might inquire about and consider during this first meeting:
What medical school did the pediatrician attend, and where did he or she undergo postgraduate and residency training?
What are the doctor's present hospital appointments? If it becomes necessary for your youngster to be hospitalized, where would he be admitted?
Is the pediatrician's office conveniently located? Is it easily accessible by automobile or public transportation?
Are the office hours convenient for your own schedule? If you are a working parent, you may desire evening or weekend hours.
Is the doctor in a group practice with other physicians? Does another physician cover for the doctor at times? Who handles phone calls when the office is closed or during vacations?
Do you sense a genuine interest by the doctor in the problems of your child, including particular health disorders he may have?
Do both the physician and the office staff appear amicable and courteous? Do they demonstrate compassion and patience? Or do you feel rushed in the office, as though the doctor is eager to move on to the next patient?
Does the doctor communicate clearly, and does the doctor make an effort to ensure that all your questions are answered?
If your child should ever develop a complex illness that necessitates the care of one or more specialists, will your pediatrician coordinate care among all the doctors providing treatment?
Check also MyChildGuide's article on calling your pediatrician
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