Written by Leigh Ann Mitchell
KATY, Texas (KM) – Choosing a pediatrician that you and your child connect with is an important first step in raising a healthy, happy child. Whether you’re expecting your first baby or it’s time for a a change, here are a few words of wisdom from Katy moms and pediatricians.
Asking the Important Questions
Many parents interview potential pediatricians to ensure a good fit. “I don’t think there are a lot of ‘don’ts’ when interviewing a pediatrician,” explains Dr. Farah Mamedov from Katy’s Steeplechase Pediatrics. “You are choosing a medical home for your child, so you have to be comfortable with the doctor and the clinic.” Dr. Mamedov emphasizes making sure you ‘like’ your new doctor, and asking questions to see if you agree on important parenting topics like breastfeeding, discipline, antibiotics, and more.
Katy mom Kelly Brotherton interviewed pediatricians after a disappointing experience with her children’s first doctor. “Interviewing doctors is a great way to ensure your child’s best interests,” she notes. “Especially now, with varying opinions on holistic care and natural options, finding a pediatrician who sees eye to eye with you and is willing to build a trusting relationship will ultimately benefit your child.”
Kelly and Oliver, by Kendra Martin Photography
Meet the Staff
When you visit, look around to make sure the office is clean and neat. Since you will be interacting with the office staff regularly, talk with them and make sure they are friendly and helpful. A staff that is quick to respond is very important to parents. Brotherton explains, “I don’t want to talk to machines and wait an hour when my child needs help. I also don’t want to wait so long in the lobby when an appointment has been scheduled. I need an office that treats my time as valuable as theirs.”
“It is important that the staff listens to your concerns and questions,” says Dr. Mamedov. Office staff and their ability to help can make or break a potential relationship. Brotherton explains, “The management of the office was actually our deciding factor.”
Compatibility is Key
Like all families, Brotherton wanted a doctor who would be willing to listen to her parenting choices. “We use natural options like diet and essential oils as a first defense against illness and to promote health,” says Brotherton. “We didn’t need a doctor who practiced this way, just one who would support us and be willing to listen.”
If you are expecting, schedule appointments to interview your top choices before the baby is born. Bring in a set of questions to ask the pediatrician, and try to pare them down to what is most important to you. Brotherton recommends asking anything that pertains to your family specifically.” How do you feel about breast feeding? How do you feel about alternate vaccination schedules? These were some issues that were important to us,” she says.
Ultimately, what parents are truly searching for is chemistry, not credentials. Interviewing potential pediatricians is an effective way to discover that compatibility. Asking questions and making simple observations during the interview can help parents figure out if the pediatrician is someone they feel comfortable with, someone who answers their questions, and someone they trust.
LEIGH ANN MITCHELL also went through the interviewing process to find a pediatrician to make sure he was a good fit for them and their child.