Choosing Your Preemie’s Pediatrician

February 4, 2013

A quick internet search will net you tons of information on how to go about selecting a pediatrician for your newest addition.  Things listed to consider range from whether you share parenting beliefs with your pediatrician to whether the office staff is friendly.  Some take into consideration whether there is sufficient parking at the office.

Without question, I quickly chose the local pediatrician’s office because the son of my pediatrician was still practicing and I wanted him to treat my baby.  We had no experience with anything baby-related and my husband didn’t have a big opinion on that matter so it was settled quickly.

The next time I thought about Roxy’s pediatrician was just days before she came home from the NICU.  The nurse on duty would be sending a copy of the discharge summary to the pediatrician’s office for our follow up visit in a couple days.  I gave them the name and made an appointment for Roxy just two days after she was home from the hospital with an associate of my first-choice doctor.

Our visit seemed very routine at first with Roxy being weighed and measured by the rooming nurse.  I shared the information concerning her early birth and her medical history as I knew it to that date.  When the doctor appeared, it was apparent that he had not taken the time to even glance over the notes the nurse had just made in Roxy’s new file, much less read over the discharge summary.  I again filled him in on her medical history.  Roxy was naked save for her diaper and blanket, yet he never bothered to examine her.  He didn’t address my concerns and the only thing he advised me to do was to be sure to feed her on a two-hour schedule, but not to overfeed her.

I left the office frustrated and unhappy.

We quickly decided that we would try another doctor.  We set up an appointment with my family practitioner.  The visit was much more pleasant, but it still didn’t feel right.  When Roxy was weighed, they didn’t bother to remove her clothes (not normally a big deal, but when you are counting weight increases in tiny increments, it makes a big difference).  They were also very unsure of procuring Synagis for Roxy on a monthly basis.

Again, we went back to the drawing board.  We began asking for recommendations and found the perfect pediatrician thanks to a co-worker of Russell’s.  We may have to drive a half-hour, but the care has been excellent and I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy with a doctor’s office.   The pediatrician has years of experience as well as experience with preemie patients and the nurse practitioner was a NICU nurse at the same NICU Roxy was at for over 15 years.   My gut feeling told me we were at the right place.  I feel like they understand why I am overanxious and I know that they comprehend what our family went through with our NICU journey.  It is fantastic to have a child who doesn’t hate going to the doctor’s office.  She enjoys seeing Michelle and MJ and you can always tell they enjoy Roxy’s visits just as much.

Our pediatrician search ended because my gut feeling told me we found the right place.  How did you go about finding your pediatrician?  Did you listen to your gut feeling or choose based on research?