When interviewing a pediatrician you are considering, make sure you feel comfortable by asking the right questions. The following are some suggested questions to ask when meeting with a potential candidate.
1. How many doctors are in your group?
2. Has the size of your group changed recently?
3. What are the special interests of the doctors in your group?
4. Do you use nurse practitioners? If so, what is their role?
5. If your office is very busy and my child needs to be seen today, what is your policy? Will I have a primary doctor or do I see whomever is handling sick patients that day?
6. How are calls for advice handled during office hours? During evening and weekend hours? What is your philosophy of providing care via telephone?
7. What are your average waiting times for scheduling a routine visit? To be seen after arrival at the scheduled time?
8. What is your philosophy about breastfeeding? Discipline? Allowing a baby to cry? Medication use? Antibiotic use?
9. How do you handle payment for services?
10. Will you assist me in evaluating doctors recommended by my health plan?
11. Until what age will you continue to see my child?
12. Do you refer only to pediatric specialists?
13. Do all the doctors in your group participate in my insurance company or managed care plan’s provider network?
14. Are you still accepting new patients for my managed care plan?
15. If my plan requires that I select a primary care provider (PCP) to coordinate all of my child’s care, is the doctor designated as a PCP for my managed care plan? (Check with your plan to verify requirements for use of the PCP and, if you are considering changing PCPs, to obtain information on how to make the change with the plan.)