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Choosing a Pediatrician (Part I of III)

At my last prenatal checkup, my OB told me I needed to select a pediatrician. This is because you have to give the name of your chosen practitioner at the hospital, and said person will be coming to examine the baby soon after birth, and every day that you stay in the hospital, if you have to stay longer than one day.

So I did what I usually do. I asked friends for recommendations, looked at the local parenting bulletin board online, and called three. "Meet three, choose one" has been my mantra for selecting most helpers (wedding planner, doula, contractor, etc.). But that certainly hasn't been the case with everyone I work with or commit to; I certainly met more than three men before choosing my husband.

The first pediatric practice I contacted had me come to an after-work meet-and-greet. About 30 prospective parents crammed into the waiting room of a spotless, brand-new office, where we were served strawberries and apples and energy bars and bottled water (nothing with protein though, which I thought odd, given my recent adventures with and lessons learned from glucose tolerance testing — pregnant women need protein in our snacks, no?).

Two young, sharp pediatricians, one male, one female, stood at the front of the room and tag-team sales-pitched their office policies. They do answer their own help calls, they don't communicate via email. They don't accept clients who won’t vaccinate. They don't do circumcisions at the hospital usually, because they don't have enough time for that (unless you're staying for a while after a c-section), but rather in-office one or two weeks later. They do each work four-days-a-week, with a few other doctors from the group picking up the fifth day and Saturday drop-ins.

Next we all filed in through the examinations area, peeking into impeccable rooms with sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay as we marched down the hall.

Back in the waiting area, people lined up in front of one doctor or the other to ask questions. Perhaps I was too hungry and tired. Perhaps they were too impeccable. I couldn’t think of anything to ask. So, impressed by the surroundings, but feeling a bit empty, I left.

To be continued...