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Dr. Barton

Prenatal "Meet the Doctor" Visits

The prenatal visit is an opportunity to meet with a pediatrician prior to the birth of your new child.  It is usually held three or four weeks before the anticipated due date to give parents and pediatrician a chance to get to know each other.  If there are concerns about the baby, there may be reason to hold this visit earlier in the pregnancy.  Such concerns most commonly would include genetic or structural defects noted on prenatal ultrasound.  Many pediatricians, Dr. Barton included, offer these visits as a courtesy since they really represent a chance to get to know each other.

Prenatal VisitGenerally, parents have many questions regarding their choice of pediatrician.  If life doesn't take them to another geographical setting, a family's relationship with their pediatrician may last twenty years.  This initial visit often includes a list of questions such  as:
  • Where were you trained?
  • What degrees do you have?
  • Are you board-certified (specialized evaluations within a certain specialty)?
  • How long have you been in the area?  With this practice?
  • What are your office policies regarding questions? Appointments? After-hours calls? Hours of availability?
  • What happens when you're not available?
  • What hospitals do you admit patients to?  Do you admit to different hospitals if my child is more sick?
  • How do you feel about breast feeding? Immunizations? Antibiotics?
  • Do you take my family's insurance?
If there are known problems with the unborn child, you as parents may have specific questions regarding a certain condition or the potential outcomes.

If you are choosing a new pediatrician after having a disappointing experience with another pediatrician, this is a chance to get a sense of how the new pediatrician might respond to similar concerns regarding your child or children.

Chidren's Checkup The "feel" of this first visit may be even more important that the answers given.  You may feel great about the future relationship. Or, perhaps, the pediatrician's answers may have seemed fine, yet the visit felt awkward or tense for you.  If there is a hidden personality conflict, it doesn't matter how good the physician's answers are; patients are going to find it difficult to work with that physician's recommendations.  Therefore, it is wise to visit more than one pediatrician in their area to see how different doctors respond to them and their questions.  Often, the mood and comfort level is just as important as the advice.

So call our office and ask to schedule a complimentary prenatal visit.  It gives you, the parent, a chance to get to know the third party in what we hope will be a lasting and valuable relationship.

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