Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pediatrician

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pediatrician

Choosing a pediatrician is a big decision for parents. Find out what factors to consider and what questions to ask when looking for the best doctor for your baby.

Your child’s healthcare provider should be an invaluable part of his or her care team for years, so finding one who fits is key. Get recommendations from friends, family and OB/GYN for where you should start looking.

Schedule virtual or in-person meetings with each doctor on your list to gauge how well they mesh, then consider these factors when narrowing down your choices:


When researching pediatricians, it’s important to learn about their education, training, certification and philosophy on healthcare as well as their practice methods. If vaccination or circumcision concerns arise or breastfeeding needs arise – take time to discuss this matter with them directly!

Prior to making your choice, try meeting each pediatrician on your list in person before making a decision. This will enable you to gain a better sense of their personality, office staff and practice atmosphere. If any encounter feels unsatisfactory or is uncomfortable for any reason whatsoever, move on – never settle for medical professionals with whom you don’t feel confident!

Consider your pediatrician’s hospital affiliations when selecting one. Be sure to inquire whether they are affiliated with any nearby children’s hospitals should you need emergency treatment or are planning a birth, and see if their pediatrician has an affiliation with any specific hospitals that you prefer for delivery.

Make sure that the pediatrician’s office hours can fit with your schedule. Ideally, choose one who is close to both home and workplace for easier sick visits without driving too far away.


Finding a pediatrician you trust is paramount when choosing one for your baby. He or she will play an integral part in his or her development, so it’s crucial that they are someone you feel at ease with. When interviewing potential candidates, inquire into their approach and philosophy for care; consider aspects important to you such as circumcision (for boys), breastfeeding and vaccination stance. Visiting multiple offices/physicians allows you to make an informed decision.

Consider whether or not the pediatrician you select is board certified and trained in specific specialization. Also look at their hospital affiliations so you know if a preferred one exists for birthing or emergency situations. Speak with friends who have chosen similar providers about who they choose as pediatrician for you and see who their recommendations may be.

Once you’ve compiled your short list of potential pediatricians, make appointments with each to determine which is the right match for your family. Pay special attention during your initial consultation as to how the doctor and staff treat you: do they seem genuine in their interest of both you and baby, is the clinic comfortable and welcoming environment – these factors all matter because your pediatrician will likely remain your child’s companion from infancy through early adulthood.


Your child’s pediatrician plays a critical role in their health, so taking time to find one who fits is crucial. Ask friends and family in your community for recommendations, or look online for doctors with relevant qualifications and experience. Before making a final decision, scheduling virtual or in-person meetings with candidates might also help narrow down the field.

Keep an eye out during these meetings, to observe how your doctor interacts with both you and your child. They should make you comfortable, while answering all questions clearly and completely.

Pediatricians are experts at identifying, diagnosing, and managing issues affecting children’s physical, emotional, and social well-being. They specialize in diagnosing and treating childhood illness or disease as well as offering immunizations, conducting physical exams and referring patients when necessary to other specialists.

Pediatricians must not only possess medical expertise but must also collaborate effectively with families and healthcare providers. For instance, if your child requires frequent specialist appointments it’s essential that their pediatrician has strong links with that specialty – our Find a Doctor tool will give you this information by showing biographical sketches, hospital affiliations, certifications and special interests of Sutter-affiliated doctors in your area – you may even get to see if there is an on-staff nurse practitioner or physician assistant covering for each other when needed!


Your chosen pediatrician will become part of your family over time, so it’s crucial that you can communicate comfortably with and trust their philosophy, practice, office policies and staff. Interviewing several potential candidates, ideally at their offices, allows you to gain a feel for each doctor as well as ask pertinent questions.

As well as verifying they accept your insurance plan and accepting new patients, be sure to inquire about their hours. As many doctors require notice before seeing patients, finding one that fits with your family’s schedule is key. Furthermore, knowing which options exist for after-hours care such as nurse practitioners or physician assistants could prove valuable if your child experiences fever in the middle of the night – could someone such as them help your child out immediately?

As soon as it comes to selecting a pediatrician for your child, remember to select someone who will provide quality healthcare that is tailored specifically for each patient. Begin your search early, and seek recommendations from friends, family members or OBGYNs before making your choice.


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