Many parents-to-be have discovered it’s a good idea to interview possible baby doctors before the baby is born. Most physicians welcome these prenatal interview appointments, as both doctor and patient need to have an understanding on what type of treatments are required and how to proceed in emergencies.
Remember that when meeting a potential doctor to take along all questions or concerns that you may have and to take all parties involved in the upbringing of the child along – that means your partner, grandparents and nanny.
Here’s a list of five common questions that you should ask your paediatrician:
Question Number One – How Much fees for office visits?
This is the first question you need to ask your potential Pediatrician, as you need to establish if you are able to afford the visits and what portion medical aids pay.
Question Number Two – Does a paediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) work in your office?
A PNP is a nurse, often already with a master’s degree, who with additional training becomes the paediatric equivalent of the certified nurse midwife in an obstetrician’s office. A PNP can handle “well-child” checks and any minor illnesses, and consults with the paediatrician as needed. Many parents like to work with PNPs, as they often spend more time with them, and their fees are lower than a doctor’s.
Question Number Three – Do you charge for phone calls?
As a first time parent, you will always have questions and concerns about your child. A strange hiccup or high temperature and in the same sense as a job, you need to gain experience before you are able to tell the difference between a common cough and one that requires medical attention. Ask the doctor if they will charge for these calls and how quickly will they respond to messages.
Question Number Four – How often do you visit the doctor?
Pediatrician’s will schedule at least six “well-child” visits for your child. Pediatricians believe this to be a form of preventive care and an opportunity for parent education. Feel free to discuss in advance with your doctor or nurse the purpose of these “well-child” visits, so that you can decide what’s appropriate for your child’s care. It is always worth the visit to check your child’s weights and the fact that your doctor thinks your baby is doing well.
Question Number Five – Do you have a ‘sick child’ waiting area?
Most doctors do not want to mix the health and sick children, as the younger they are, the higher the risk of catching the illness. Ensure that you know the exact location of this sick room and what the procedure would be in the event of an emergency.
In conclusion, remember as a new parent that no question is a stupid one. An easy way to remember all the questions you may have is to write them down and have someone with you to recall all the information the doctor gives you. Ensure that you feel comfortable with the doctor, as you will be a frequent visitor to the practice.
I am Greg Jones, a healthcare management official for pediatric outpatients. In my experience, parents rush into choosing a doctor, without selecting the right one for their needs. Ensure that you are all on the same page with regard to child care and safety, before committing yourself to a doctor.