Looking for a pediatrician? These Kidcast tips will help you with that vital decision

A pediatrician can play a big role in a child’s life, so for a parent, it’s important to choose the right doctor for your child.

We get expert advice on what research to do and questions to ask when you’re picking a pediatrician. Here’s KDKA’s Kristine Sorensen’s edited conversation with pediatrician Dr. Todd Wolynn, CEO of Kids+ Pediatrics.

Kristine Sorensen: Choosing a pediatrician is a big decision for parents, isn’t it, Dr. Wolynn?

Dr. Todd Wolynn: It’s a really big decision. I think it requires a little effort before the baby arrives. You can ask friends and learn through word-of-mouth about different doctors. You can always check online, and I think you should call the office to see how you’re treated when you call. Also, some pediatricians’ offices offer classes and orientation for new families.

Kristine Sorensen: I remember when I was choosing a pediatrician, I really wanted someone who was close to where I live.

Dr. Todd Wolynn: Proximity is going to be important, but also access. For example, do they have evening hours? Do they have weekend hours? At our practice, we’re open 7 days a week and 4 nights a week.

Kristine Sorensen: What other resources do some pediatricians provide?

Dr. Todd Wolynn: I think it’s important to do your homework to find out what resources a practice provides. So, for instance, we have the Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh at Kids+ Pediatrics. Some practices may have some real strengths or weaknesses, so I think it’s worth finding out if there are any special features. Also, make sure your insurance allows you to go there.

Kristine Sorensen: Are there certain questions parents should ask when they’re trying to figure out which pediatrician to choose?

Dr. Todd Wolynn: Yes. For example, if you know you’re going to be breastfeeding, you could ask about breastfeeding support. Or if immunizations are important to you, find out what the policy is.  At our practice, we really mandate that families stick to an immunization schedule so we know that everybody’s safe from a vaccine-preventable disease. Those are the kind of things that you want to call ahead to learn.