Choosing Your Pediatrician

Finding a Doctor for Your Baby

A pediatrician is a physician who specializes in the treating children. Pediatricians study the normal growth and development of children from birth through the teen years. They provide medications and treatment during childhood illnesses; provide immunization against many common infectious diseases and offer education on the health choices you will have to make throughout your baby’s childhood.

Choosing a pediatrician before you deliver is the first step in creating a healthy lifestyle for your baby. At Scripps, we recommend you begin the pediatrician selection process in your third trimester.

A partner in your child’s care

Your baby’s pediatrician is an important partner in your baby’s health. It’s important that you find a pediatrician that meets you and your baby’s needs so you may want to schedule meetings with a few of them to find the right fit.

When selecting a pediatrician, you may want to consider the following:

  • Do they accept your health insurance?
  • Have they been referred by a friend or family member?
  • What are the office hours?
  • What services are offered if your baby is sick after office hours? Do they have alternative contacts?
  • Is there someone on staff to answer medical questions over the phone?
  • Is it a group practice? If so, can you request the same doctor each time?
  • What is the approximate waiting time for an appointment?
  • How long do they recommend that you breastfeed?
  • Do they offer breastfeeding services?
  • Do they recommend circumcision for infant boys? Do they perform the circumcision in the hospital or in their office?
  • What is their philosophy on care?