somehow we're only 124th
This is an incredibly ignorant comment. I'm partially sad I missed this thread when it was new and partially glad I didn't engage what would inevitably be a very misinformed and shortsighted argument.
-look for full board certification; you will also find most training info as well as possible board actions/disciplines.
-definitely ask the OBs, they would have a handle on that, as well as the nurses.
-don't fault a doctor for being busy, that is a good sign. Personally, I like smaller groups as the service tends to be more personalized. Also, many doctors are under a lot of pressure from the recent changes (and further coming changes coming) to the health care system, please keep that in mind (no political content intended).
- beware, the "Top Doctor" awards are a misnomer- kind of like the USA Today Coaches poll in football. In my area I know a doctor who was disciplined by the state medical board for self-prescribing narcotics, but still received a "top doc" award.
-interview the physician if possible; sometimes they can be a great doc, but not a good fit for you.
-nothing wrong with a Nurse Practioner; not quite the same training as a physician, but many are very/extremely good and you may prefer them. Please ignore the stereotype of doctors vs nurses; people are people and especially pediatricians tend to be the caring type vs other specialties (sorry, Wolverine Quaker).
-discuss vaccinations with you pediatrician; there seems to be a trend toward limiting or not vaccinating, but I understand (I am not a ped so I can't immediately cite a source) there has also been a significant increase in the diseases that vaccinations try to prevent.
-congrats on your soon-to-arrive addition to your family! Teach him/her to say "Go Blue!" as soon as they start talking!
As a pediatrician I'm definitely for vaccines. That said I'm not one for 5 shots a visit. I have no problem with spacing them out as long as they all get done. I won't get into the whole argument but that's my stance on the issue
I'm not a pediatrician... But I totally agree with you on this one.
No need for an apology MMB 82...in fact, I apologize. I was trying really hard to advocate for my position without treading on anybody's toes. Perhaps I tried too hard, I'd hate to give into that stereotype myself (I work with a lot of good docs). ::handshake::
I suggest one that has multiple pediatric specialties and does labs in the office. That makes things easier if your kid needs to see a specialist. Also, one that has walkin sick hours, so you don't have to wait a couple of days for an appointment when your kid is sick
I also suggest one that has at least day where they are open late. That way you can schedule routine stuff wothout talking off from work. Te other benefit with a larger practice is that you get multiple viewpoints for your baby.
Good luck and get all vaccines. Google or. The research that said they are linked to autism was fabricated. The guy admitted so a few years back.
As a pediatric subspecialist I would add the following:
I agree with the above - a prenatal interview is the most important.
You should also be comfortable with the whole practice, as if your kid gets sick, they' may not see their regular doctor as an add-on
I would not use internet reviews - those things could be done by anybody, the doctor themselves, their mother, or roll damn tide
Besides the vaccine advice mentioned above (and I do encourage reading up on this as much as possible to make an informed decision - the US government doesn't know everything and is affected by lobbying etc...), I would aim for a smaller practice.
We started out in a larger practice and experienced long waits in the waiting room for appointments (not easy with babies), long long delays in people calling us back when we had questions and seeing different doctors each visit.
We switched to a practice that had 2 pediatricians and experienced short waits, super fast responses when we had questions and saw 1 of 2 doctors every time.
Must keep in mind that if you fail to vaccinate your children, you're putting my children at risk, too! (see Ann Arbor measles outbreak of 2 years ago)
Fwiw some doctors might advise a different vaccine schedule; in other words be supportive of vaccines but have different opinions about timing given their experience or your kids context.
My kid is fully vaccinated now but thanks to my doctor's advice we declined one (which ended up being yanked off the market later, good call doc) and postponed varicella -- which was also useful because in the interim they changed their estimate of effectiveness and the vaccine protocol.
I'm sorry but this is a ridiculous topic to post on MGoBlog. Marking a post as "Off Topic" usually means the discussion will center on, say, the NHL lockout or NFL playoffs. What shall we discuss next, which refrigerator to buy? Does anyone know of a good private school in Tulsa? What type of fish is in fish tacos?
Really chief, do you really want a bunch of beer-guzzling college undergrads giving you advice? And what's all this hullaballoo about "selecting" a pediatrician? Just pick the one that is close to you. It's not like GPs (or GPs for little kids) really do anything anyways, they just take their cut and refer you on up the doctor pay scale. Helicopter parents drive me nuts.
This is an amazing reply. Now I see why you're an mgoblog legend.
Herm, you're the man. This is spot on.
I've been a nurse for 30 years. Get referrals from friends with young children but also make some appts with physicians. Any good doc will meet with you before you decide.
Not much else to say that hasn't been said... I'm also a pediatrician (UM '01), like several posters above. I think getting referrals from friends with kids is the place to start, and then meeting with and interviewing the prosepctive candidates. Unlike what someone said above, as far as I know, we all meet with prospective families for an interview for free.
Also good to know what happens when your kid gets sick, I mean sick enough to be admitted to the hospital. Does your pediatrician attend there or will you be meeting someone new who will be taking care of your child?
Hopefully it never comes up but it is worth considering.
Dr wright on California street in SF. She is awesome. If you want a male, i have heard good things about her partner Bernstein. We saw him once when our son was sick.
If you want specifics of why her I can tell later when not on my phone. If you aren't in SF, my recommendation obviously doesn't help you.
Join Golden Gate Mother's Group (just search the Internet). Can't remember if that is just for SF or more of the Bay Are (so again if you aren't in SF this might not help, but I think there is an east bay mothers group and something in the South Bay- has a Spanish name that I am drawing a blank on now). Tons of great advice on there, lots of forums with every question you'll have already asked and answered or if you ask one lots of people will respond.
We used one through the UNC system - I don't know how it works in Cailfornia and obviously it won't be UNC out there, but the university systems are generally good. If you don't like them you can always switch. I shop doctors, not for ones who give me pills, cause I don't take any, but for those who don't immediately triage everything with the lowest common denominator easy button. If I'm sick I want to know what the root cause is, not be given a pill to shut up. I'm the same way with my kids peds.
Gratuitous double post
... but I don't know where in the Bay Area you're looking. So, yes, one with multiple pediatric specialties including any family history might lead you to think will be important (I have asthma, for example); doctors you like and can work with, hours that are flexible since kids don't get sick at convenient times, coverage for off hours, and later a support staff that can crank out school forms in their sleep.
Congratulations and good luck!
A diploma from Michigan's med school up on the wall certainly couldn't hurt
Go to a local playground. Talk to new mommies. They love to tell labor and delivery stories. Try to look interested. You'll get referrals.
After that, go to Refrigerators 'R Us. The one in Tulsa next to Taco Del Mar. Tell em Herm sent ya.
It depends what kind of pediatrician you are looking for - for general health - most pediatricians are good - board certification is good - but remember the most important is someone you can trust and have a good relationship with. If yo went to one school vs another - some of the best doctors didn't go to Harvard or UCSF.
If your child will have some special needs - university hospitals have some of the better doctors with pediatric subspecialties such in eye, ENT, gastroenterology, nephrology, oncology, neurology, etc. So if you know a pediatrician affiliated with a university setting it may be easier to get a referral or see some very well known doctors - on the othe side - you may see a resident or fellow prior to seeing the attending doctor.
Usually vaccination schedule are determined not by the doctor but recommended guidelines set by the CDC guidelines.
You want the doctor who is also more current on the updated medical llterature.
I love having a family practice doc. Guy sees our whole family, has context for everything going on. He has been seeing my son since he was a zygote since I never had to bother finding an ob-gyn either. My doc has been able handle all of our routine medical needs and a fair number of the non-routine ones.
Still don't know what part of the bay area you're in. If it's the east bay, we LOVED Ben King at Berkeley Pediatrics. Even if you're not in the east bay, I would also look into the Berkeley Parents Network. They have a lot of recommendations. While it's focused on the Berkeley area, I think I remember there being some from other bay area locations as well.