Apparently, part of this whole “parenting gig” involves choosing a pediatrician for Max. No biggie, right? It just means that we have to make a decision that will directly affect the health and well-being of our son for the next 18 YEARS. This is only the person who will help us to navigate EVERYTHING that will keep Max safe, the person who will respond to my crazy frantic “Is this normal?” phone calls at 3 am (well, at least their advice nurse will). The person who needs to have the same philosophies as we do on important things like circumcision (yep…in CA some peds REFUSE to do it!!!), shots and the autism link (we’re going to give Max his shots, but I’d like to at least space them out), and more.
I decided I’d tackle this enormous decision one small step at a time.
1. Went online to see what peds in our area took our health insurance.
2. Two bigger ped groups in two different parts of town. One is right by our house and in the same building as my doctor. The other was by the mall. Mall docs were ruled out.
3. Looked at listing of docs in the practice I liked. Read some reviews online. Decided that “nice looking middle aged man” fit my paradigm of what a ped should be. Two to choose from. Went with the one who had a Jewish last name and attended U of M (because my mom and dad went there). Dr. F is our guy.
4. Called ped office. They no longer do 1:1 interviews because they get so many word of mouth referrals, BUT the receptionist was really nice and said we could stop by the office and check it out. Yes, they have an advice line, and contract with Children’s Hospital for after hours advice. Usually doctor will call you back directly. Saturday hours. Doctor will come to hospital when baby is born.
5. Asked Susie to ask some friends in town about who they recommend. Heard back from Susie that her good family friend (who is a hospital nurse AND who has two kids, one of whom was born early and needed some extra TLC) goes to…………..Dr. F!!!! And she loves him! Now Dr. F is really our guy.
6. Went to Dr. F’s office. They have two separate waiting rooms, one for sick kids and one for well kids. 3 points. The receptionist was awesome. Explained that the doctor will come right over when I deliver, and be there to check on the baby every day we’re in the hospital. When we asked about circumcision, it turns out that Dr. F and Dr. G are JEWISH, attend the synagogue that we were looking into joining, and will perform the circumcision WITH the necessary prayers. 10 points. Then they gave us our forms to fill out, and a book that Dr. G himself had written about all kinds of medical things that new parents should know.
7. Read through the “Circumcision Pamphlet” on the way home. Sean was 4 beers in after dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. Had a major “Holy Shit” moment that we were making OH MY GOD…PARENTING DECISIONS. Sean pointed out that just walking IN to the peds office was a big step. I pointed out that seeing the registration forms that said “Mom’s name” and “Dad’s name” and “Child’s birthday” was a total mind f–k. Because they didn’t mean OUR Mom and Dad’s names…they meant US.
All in all, what a wonderful twist of fate that we found Dr. F and his practice. Little Max, you will surely be in good hands! Now let’s just hope they have good stickers!