I’m in my third trimester and checking into pediatricians. What would you consider when choosing your children’s doctor?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I decided to take my kids to one of my best friends from college who is now a pediatrician. I have the inside scoop on pediatricians because of my job; I get to know them well and get to see their bedside manner. An ob/gyn might be a great person to ask for recommendations.
When choosing a pediatrician, I think it’s important to find someone you feel comfortable with. It’s great to get referrals from your friends, but just because your friend likes a pediatrician doesn’t mean you will. Interview pediatricians and ask about their availability. If it’s a group of pediatricians, make sure that you like most of the doctors because when your baby is sick and you need an appointment asap, you might not get to chose who you get to see. Also consider where the office is located; you don’t want to have a long drive in the snow with a sick baby.
—Jennifer Kim, MD, a mom of three girls ages eight, five, and four and an ob/gyn in private practice in Evanston, IL, at the Midwest Center for Women’s Healthcare and a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine.
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I practiced for several years before I had kids, but now I would never go to a pediatrician who didn’t have children. This is unique because you go to a surgeon who has probably never had the surgery you’re having. And many women to go male gynecologists. I think that they can have empathy for their patients.
But motherhood is different. The challenges motherhood brings, such as being up all night with a sick baby, make it valuable to have a pediatrician who has lived it.
—Susan Schreiber, MD, a mom of a son and daughter in their twenties and pediatrician in Los Angeles, CA