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.
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?