Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Is there a doctor in the house?

Continuing on my line of moving questions, I am faced with a decision that I am hesitant to make for fear of choosing incorrectly. I need to find a new pediatrician for my kids in our new neighborhood.

I LOVE the pediatrician we see now--but we happened on him by fluke. When I was at the hospital, in labor with my first baby, they asked who our pediatrician was. I hadn't talked to any doctors yet, and in fact, I'd only even heard one name. So that's who I said. Turns out, he wasn't accepting new patients, but when my daughter was put into the NICU and the nurses called him, he showed up anyway.

I don't think that system of choosing a doctor is going to work again...

How did you find your pediatrician?

What do you look for when choosing a doctor?

What if you don't like the doctor after the first visit--how and when would you make a switch?

Any other tips for finding a good pediatrician?

This is something that, I feel, is very important. I am trusting a single person with the health and well-being of my children in an area that I can't take care of myself. In most instances, I would go on word-of-mouth recommendations from other mothers whose opinion I trust, but I'm moving to a place where I don't know anyone. So, I'm kinda on my own here and I would love to hear any suggestions and advice you can give!


Jessie said...

I would probably ask your current pediatrician's office if they have any sort of recommendations for where you're going. If not, perhaps you can ask your new neighbors or mothers of your children's classmates (if they go to school, or church, or whatever) where they take their kids.

When we first found our pediatrician's office, there were so many doctors to choose from that we asked the office manager who she would take her kids to, and went with her choice. He didn't end up being our long-term doctor (we ended up liking the hospital dr. better), but it was nice to have a referral from someone who worked with them every day.

Good luck, I agree that choosing a good pediatrician is one of the most important decisions we mothers make. It's definitely tough.

Rebecca said...

My SIL I think lives close to where you're moving...and she really likes her pediatrician. I'll get you the info about him.

Fisher Fam said...

For those questions I usually ask people at Church. They know the area and may have just the answer you are looking for. Otherwise, new co-workers may have good insight as well.

Delia said...

Ask the nurses. Ask several. They have some of the best references.

As a person that has had both really good doctors and not so good ones {and getting good reviews for all of them} I think you have to ask a lot of questions of the office staff...of the doctors. You have to be comfortable with the doctor and his staff and not just go off other people's good experiences. I stayed with a doctor too long (twice - you think I would learn) that wasn't working out for ME because I had friends who swore by these doctors.

If you want to switch, I suggest that you go when your baby is sick and just try a new doctor for a sick visit. Our old ped. had a policy that if you switched within practice that you couldn't switch back or you would be asked to not be a patient anymore. That should have made me run right then and there but...anyway. The sick visit didn't count as switching so we could check out if we liked another doctor better before making the whole paperwork and file switch.

I make sure that the pediatrician is good with my kids but also good with me. I don't like a doctor that talks down to me or minces words. The doctor we have now is awesome. She explains everything in understandable but not entirely watered down terms. She empowers me as a parent instead of working against me.

That is all I can think of right now.

Good luck!

Delia said...

Oh...but be careful about nurse recommendations. They cannot warn you to NOT to go to a doctor and some may be hesitant to recommend one but they usually know the good ones because they work with them (the ones in the practice but most importantly a NICU nurse or mother and baby nurse since they work with those doctors too and are more impartial). They are great references.

JeriLynn said...

Had you guys joined the military, Laura, you wouldn't have to worry about this so much! ;)

But back when I had a choice, I went to a pediatric clinic where there were a variety of doctors. Usually, you'll find one there who you like.

JeriLynn said...

Oh, I should have read all of Delia's comments first. I took my baby in when she was sick, and that's when I found the pediatrician I liked. But there was no issue switching to a new doc at my clinic.