There are many reasons to look for a new pediatrician: From moving into a new city to finding someone to help you take care of the health of your first child. Working with a provider around your area who is available and open to conduct a short introductory meeting (frequently called “meet and greet”) will help you get acquainted and see if you and your family feel comfortable with the type of service the pediatrician provides. Knowing beforehand what to ask a pediatrician at a meet and greet will make these minutes more productive and insightful, as well as help you make the right decision.
There are several styles of preliminary meetings pediatricians can offer to parents who have yet to use their services. Sometimes, providers will conduct these meetings in groups at a health facility and include a tour. They may also offer individual sessions that take place at your home. With the pandemic, it is common that meet and greets happen remotely, without the need of commuting.
As briefly mentioned above, the main purpose of these meetings is to get to know the practitioner or physician you are considering to take care of your child’s health needs. It’s a great opportunity for you to learn about the pediatrician’s background, how they run their practice, and what you can expect. You can also use the time to tell them about your child, particularly if your child has any medical issues.
In addition to a meet and greet with a pediatrician, you should perform online research and ask other parents about provider recommendations.
The information that you are able to cover during this meeting will make your decision easier when the time comes to officially choose your pediatrician.
The Ideal Objectives of This Meeting
Time is precious, especially for busy families who are expecting or already have one or more children at home. The ideal scenario when getting to know a healthcare provider for the first time would be to have in mind what to ask a pediatrician at a meet and greet so it is the most efficient, informative, and productive. Write down your questions ahead of time, and make notes during your meeting. Having a clear picture of this meeting’s objective will help you better plan for your questions.
Set a main goal for your evaluation. Consider whether you will be able to establish a supportive relationship with the pediatrician after you finish the conversation. The pediatrician should be there more as a partner rather than just a supplier, desiring to establish a personal relationship with you and your child, rather than a transactional one.
Also, make sure that you cover all the topics related to insurance, payment methods, and fees. You don’t want to be surprised later with unexpected costs. You should also check with your insurance provider to make sure nothing has changed, and the pediatrician you select is, in fact, covered by your insurance.
With these objectives in mind, it is important that you share with other caregivers your intention of having meet and greets with a few pediatricians. Your partner, if you have one, other family members who are directly involved in your child’s upbringing, and even nannies can shed some light on what you can ask during the session.
Recommended Questions to Ask a Pediatrician During a Meet and Greet
Finally, you scheduled a meeting to take place soon with a local pediatrician or a few of them. You did all the research possible, took the time to evaluate options, and have all important topics in mind. Now, it is time to put together a reasonable list of questions. Write them down on your phone or have them on paper, ready before the meeting.
Even though we categorized them for your convenience and added a few questions we consider important, feel free to reorganize this list based on your priorities, whether you are an expecting parent or not and your own findings.
About The Pediatrician
- Are you Board-certified?
- How many years have you been in practice?
- Do you have any subspecialties? Which ones?
- Tell me/us about your experience with children diagnosed with… (specify any conditions your child may have been diagnosed with)
- Who else is on your team that my child may encounter?
- Do you have any websites, social media, or media appearances we/I can explore?
- What are common techniques you apply to make your visit less traumatic or scary for children?
- What are your views on... ? (include subjects that are important to you as a parent and that will let you establish common grounds with the pediatrician. Some topics are infection management and use of antibiotics, vaccination, circumcision, obesity, gender identity, parenting styles, alternative medicine, child sleep, animal product consumption, breastfeeding, etc.)
Related: Are Pediatricians Open on Weekends?
About The Service
- Do you take calls or messages for routine/non-emergency questions?
- What are your office hours?
- How will we/I reach you if my child gets sick after hours?
- What evening or weekend hours are available?
- When you are not on call, who covers?
- Are you affiliated with any hospitals?
- What are the available communication methods? (i.e. text message, phone, video visit, etc.)
- Do you see newborns at the hospital or at the first office visit?
- Do you offer in-home visits?
About Payment-Related Topics
- How do you handle payments, billing, laboratory charges, and insurance claims?
- Do you take my insurance?
- Do you charge by the visit, a monthly fee, or how?
- What are the available payment methods?
- At-home or virtual care cost extra? How much?
Consider These Additional Questions During Pandemic Times
The effects of the pandemic will likely stay with us for months to come while vaccination takes place all over the world. In the meantime, you, as a parent, should consider including some virus-related inquiries when it comes to what to ask a pediatrician at a meet and greet.
COVID-19 Related questions
- What are your current protocols during checkups?
- Where is your office located?
- Do I/we have the option to receive care at home if I/we don’t want to take our children to any health facility?
- Do you offer any remote care options, like telemedicine?
- How have you managed suspicious or positive COVID-19 cases in your practice, whether in children or their parents/families?
After a productive meet and greet takes place, you should have peace of mind, because your questions were answered in an empathetic and caring way. The above questions will guide you through a few good sessions, so you can make the best decision for yourself and, of course, for your child (or children!).
In Austin, Modern Pediatrics is welcoming new families, with the most convenient pediatric care, home visits, and 24/7 virtual care. Explore how our yearly membership works or book a meet and greet with us.