Now that you're in your last trimester, you should choose a pediatrician for your baby-to-be. You can also go to a family physician who can provide care for your baby. Choosing a doctor to care for your child is an important decision. This person will chart your child's development, address your concerns, and answer your questions about your child's health. You will see this person regularly for sick visits and for well checkups.
To find a good pediatrician, start by asking your family physician, obstetrician, family, and friends. Gather a list of names and numbers, and write up some questions. Then call to set up interviews. When you interview a physician, you should take into account:
- Professional qualifications -- You can get a list of board-certified pediatricians from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Viewpoints on issues such as preventive medicine, nutrition, and so on.
- Office hours -- weekend appointments, evenings, emergencies.
- Doctor cross-coverage -- who will be covering when your doctor is unavailable?
- Location -- more than one office?
- Office environment and personalities of doctors and staff.
- After hours -- answering service/returned phone calls .
- Triage system -- who answers your calls when you have a question? Do you speak with a nurse or directly with your doctor?
- Health plan coverage issues -- how do you pay for visits?