How to Select a Pediatrician to Be Your Baby's Doctor
Who is your baby's doctor?
It’s never too early to begin considering the answer to this question. Finding the right pediatrics practice is important, as you will rely on the physicians of this practice to monitor your child’s growth and development and be available to answer questions as they arise. In fact, many pediatrics practices prefer to see expectant mothers before they deliver. This gives the pediatrician an opportunity to provide you with information about the practice and learn more about your expectations.
There are several important things to keep in mind when selecting a pediatrics practice for your newborn.
How close is the practice to where you live? Would you be able to get there quickly should your child experience a medical emergency?
Not all pediatricians have hospital privileges. Only physicians with hospital privileges will be able to evaluate the newborn after delivery or provide care to a child who requires hospitalization. To view a list of pediatricians on the medical staff at Tanner, choose Find a Doctor on any Tanner Web page. You also may call Tanner’s physician referral line at 770.214.CARE for a referral to a pediatrician based on a number of criteria, including insurance and practice location.
How large is the pediatrics practice? Do they have multiple locations? How long does it take to get an appointment?
Nights and Weekends
Not all illnesses occur between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Does the practice provide evening or weekend hours? What arrangements has the practice made to respond to emergency calls, including nights and weekends?
How much does an office visit cost? What about immunizations, telephone consultations or emergency visits? Can fee adjustments be made based on your family income?
What are the pediatrician’s views on breastfeeding? Do they support your plan to breastfeed, bottle feed or both?
It takes time for all of a newborn’s organs to become fully-functional, and as a result many newborns experience a bit of jaundice, noted by a yellow complexion to the skin. What are the pediatrician’s preferred ways to treat jaundice in newborns?
How often does the pediatrician expect to see your baby for check-ups?
Are the responses from the pediatrician and his or her practice thorough and thoughtful? Were you able to understand the information they provided? Did they write down important information for you to take with you? Were you comfortable with the physician you met?
Ask friends, neighbors and relatives in your area about the pediatricians they prefer and why.
Need a Pediatrician?
It’s helpful to have a pediatrician on Tanner’s medical staff to provide in-hospital care if necessary for the newborn. To find a pediatrician on staff at Tanner, choose Find a Doctor on any Tanner Web page or call 770.214.CARE.