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Choosing a Doctor

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Pediatrician or family physician?

Many parents bring their baby to a pediatrician, a doctor who specializes in the health of young children. Other parents prefer a family physician, a doctor who takes care of the whole family, from birth through adulthood. 

Doc _icon Tips for Finding a Doctor for Your Child

  • Start looking for a doctor several months before your due date so you have time to make a well-informed choice.
  • Find out from other parents you know where they bring their kids and why they like their doctor.
  • Ask your obstetrician, midwife, hospital, or insurance company to provide referrals for a pediatrician or family physician.
  • Call and make sure the doctor is taking new patients and will accept your health insurance.
  • Note which doctors have convenient locations and office hours, and, if you have time, arrange to meet the doctor at his or her office.

Female _doc _icon Interviewing a New Doctor
Before deciding on a doctor, arrange an interview and meet the pediatrician or family physician in person.

  • Here are some questions you can ask:
  • Which hospital are you affiliated with?
  • Will you come to the hospital to examine my newborn or will the first visit be at the office?
  • How do I contact you if my child gets sick and I have questions in the evening or on weekends?
  • How long will it take to schedule a non-emergency appointment for my child?
  • What is the typical wait time when I arrive for an appointment?
  • When you're not on call, who covers for you?
  • Do you take my insurance?

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