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Choosing a Pediatrician

After your new baby arrives, one of the most important relationships you will develop is with your baby's pediatrician.  That is why you need to find a pediatrician you trust and like.  Most parents choose a pediatrician--a physician who specializes in the medical care of children from birth until young adulthood. Others use a family practitioner who treats the entire family. Here are a few suggestions that may assist you in choosing your newborn's first primary care physician:

  1. Begin by talking to family members, friends and medical professionals, such as your own provider. Ask them whom they recommend and why. Also do some research online. The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Medical Association, and The American Board of Pediatrics all offer online tools that can help you locate a pediatrician in your area.
  2. During your infant's first visit, find out if you and the pediatrician agree on important issues such as breastfeeding, preventive care, use of antibiotics, etc.
  3. Ask the office staff about practical issues such as office hours, who covers for the pediatrician when he/she is not available, and what insurances that doctor accepts. Some pediatricians will schedule brief "interview" appointments to discuss these topics before your baby arrives.
  4. Do not wait until the end of your pregnancy to start your search for a pediatrician. If your baby arrives ahead of schedule, you need to be prepared.