5 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Pediatrician

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When I first became a mom, I took for granted that all pediatricians and doctors were created equal.

I mean, they all went to medical school, and they all knew everything there was to know about health, right?

Well, um, that's not exactly right.

The truth is, doctors, like the rest of us mere mortals, are all different. They can have different medical beliefs, philosophies, and personalities, and choosing a pediatrician to care for your family is one of the most important decisions you will ever make as a parent.

So before you choose your pediatrician, it may be helpful to ask him or her the following questions.

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Image via Chaunie Brusie

Unfortunately, emergencies and even routine questions don't just happen during office hours. I was floored when I heard about a small-town pediatrician who texts and Facebooks her patients at all hours of the day and night. Find out your potential doctor's policy and save yourself a lot of stress when that first middle-of-the-night fever hits and you're at a complete loss of what to do.

{ MORE: Have You Ever Wanted to Monitor Your Baby's Heartbeat at Home During Pregnancy? }

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Image via Chaunie Brusie

Whether you plan on vaccinating, know you don't want to, or still have questions about it, it's a good conversation to have so that you know your doctor's feelings right off of the bat. Either way, you will need to have an open and honest discussion about the issue so you're ready for when it arises.

With babies, they are offered a vaccination literally hours after birth (the Hepatitis B vaccine), so it's a question you will want answered sooner rather than later.

{ MORE: 5 Things to Expect When You Have Babies 10 Years Apart }

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Image via Chaunie Brusie

This one might sound silly, and maybe it is, but it's a question that I wish I would have asked when choosing my pediatrician because, horror of horrors, I just found that my kids' doctor does absolutely nothing to separate the sick visits and the well-child visits.

Call me crazy, but I don't want to have to worry about my brand-new, days-old newborn getting sick from her “checkup.” I really don't think it's that hard to designate a room or two to well children so parents can ease their minds a bit when taking healthy children in for checkups.

Heck, some pediatrician offices even have separate wings or waiting rooms just for this very reason, so do your research to find out the policy at your doctor's.

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Image via Chaunie Brusie

In the event of an emergency, you will want to know if your pediatrician — the one who is your child's primary care provider — will also be the one who has privileges at your local hospital. Not all pediatricians work at the hospitals that are near their offices, so it's good knowledge to know up front.

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Image via Chaunie Brusie

OK, so there's absolutely nothing scientific about this question, but when all else fails and I'm totally conflicted about a medical or health decision for my kids, it's always helpful for me to simply ask our doctor, “What would you do it it was your child?” Hearing an honest answer from a medical expert who is also a parent always helps ease my mind a bit.

{ MORE: Do You Sing Your Baby to Sleep? New Research Says You Probably Should }

What questions do you think new parents should ask a pediatrician?

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5 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Pediatrician

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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