Discover How to Effectively Choose Your Baby's Doctor

ER - Madison

5 min Average

Choosing Your Baby's Doctor

Choosing a doctor for your baby is just one of many important decisions you will make as a parent. Here are some commonly asked questions and guidelines you may wish to consider.

When Should I Make This Decision?

Select a doctor before your baby is born. If possible, have the doctor selected two months prior to the due date. Remember some babies come early! If you are new to the area, you should select a doctor for your child as soon as possible after moving.

Primary Care for Kids

Meriter offers child and adult primary care services at the following clinics: DeForest-Windsor Clinic, Fitchburg Clinic, McKee Clinic, Middleton Clinic, Monona Clinic, Stoughton Clinic, and West Washington Clinic. Convenient appointment access and extended hours are available for our pediatric patients.

Our Doctors' Philosophy

Our pediatricians and family medicine physicians provide quality, easy-to-access medical care for children in a safe and friendly environment. Our philosophy is to work with you as a partner in your child's medical care, providing the guidance you and your child need throughout all stages of his or her life. We are committed to keeping family needs at the forefront and promise to explain everything clearly to keep you well informed.

Click here to meet our family medicine physicians.

Click here to meet our pediatricians.

How Do I Find the Right Doctor for My Child?

  • Talk to friends, relatives and co-workers who have children and share your parenting philosophies. Their experiences and understanding of your style provide a valuable resource.
  • Decide which type of doctor you prefer. Although Pediatricians and Family Medicine physicians can both offer your child quality care, some parents prefer the specialization of a pediatrician who only treats children, or they like the idea of a Family Medicine physician who can care for their child into adulthood, as well as for other adult members of their family.
  • Consider if the doctor's age or gender is an important issue to you.
  • Set up an appointment with one or two doctors to get acquainted and discuss specific issues. These consult appointments are usually scheduled around lunchtime or at the end of the day for about 20 minutes. This "interview" will help you make your choice.

What Should I Look for in a Doctor's Office?

Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself or others as you are evaluating a doctor's office:

  • How close is the doctor's office to your home? Convenience is important, especially when your child is sick. Sometimes parents like to use the same clinic for themselves and their child because it is familiar to them.
  • What are the office hours? Who will see your child if his/her doctor is not available? Is there an after-hours clinic, staffed by pediatricians or family practice physicians?
  • What is the procedure for gaining telephone access to your doctor or doctor's nurse during office hours?
  • Can sick children usually be seen the day you call in? How far in advance must you schedule well child check-ups?
  • What is the waiting room like? Is there a well child waiting room separate from the sick child waiting area? Is the area clean and child friendly? How many children are waiting? What is the average wait time?
  • If you are in the waiting room, talk to other parents to determine if they are satisfied with the care their children are receiving.

What Should I Do After I Have Chosen a Doctor?

  • When you are admitted to the hospital for delivery you will be asked to name your child's doctor. The hospital will then contact his/her office.
  • After your baby's birth you will need to call your insurance company to add the baby to your policy. At that time, you will report your choice of doctor.
  • Continue to evaluate your decision as you work with your child's doctor.

Carefully considering the choice of your child's doctor prior to the baby's birth will increase your confidence as you become a new parent. Finding a good doctor-family match will ease the stress of your child's "sick days" and set the stage for preventive health care throughout your baby's childhood and teen years.