Guest Author - Julixa Newman
Selecting a pediatrician for your twins is a very big decision that should not be taken lightly. There are many things that you should know, and you must do your homework. Here are a couple of things you should keep in mind when making this decision.
Word of mouth is a very important part of selecting your twins' pediatrician. If you can, talk to people who currently go to that same doctor. Ask them what the pros and cons of this particular practitioner are. Is the pediatrician a sugar coating, laid back, "don't worry about it so much" kind of doctor, or are they more straight forward and blunt? What kind of doctor do you prefer? Is there a separate waiting area for contagious children? Some doctors will not see more than two multiples at one time-sick triplets or quads may need to visit in shifts...
Check the internet for reviews, but always keep in mind that most people write reviews when they are displeased with something. Keep an open mind about what you are reading, and do not let that be your only source. A parent who finds out that their insurance isn't covering something while standing at the nurse's station (with crying children) after the visit can get pretty emotional! That may stand out more in their mind instead of how thorough and patient the doctor actually was.
Check them out! Go into the office and meet the staff. You have all the right in the world to ask if the doctor is available and just introduce yourself. Ask the staff members what their hours are. Are they open on weekends? What happens if you need someone in the middle of the night? Are they available or will you just have an answering service telling you to go to the ER if it is an emergency? Does this particular practitioner have a lot of experience with twins?
Always find out how they handle vaccinations. Can someone help you when you go in with your twins? Does the staff look friendly and outgoing? Keep in mind that these are the people that are going to be assisting you when you walk into the office with your hands full!
Distance should always play a great factor in the decision making. Many times I hear of moms complaining that their pediatrician is great, but so far away that when they're sick it's just too long of a ride! You want to make sure that you can reach your pediatrician in a moment's notice. Toddlers, and twins especially, can get into some crazy things around the house when you aren't looking!
Lastly, if your pediatrician is a part of a big practice, it is always wise to ask if it will be hard to see the same doctor for every check up-if this is important to you. Most people want a doctor that knows and remembers you, not one that has to read a chart to catch up. There may be a practice you like that has three or more alternating pediatricians. If you've done your research, and they all seem to know what they are doing, perhaps that is ok too!