Choosing a Pediatrician + AP-Friendly Doctor Recs for Austin
Finding the right pediatrician or family doctor can feel like an overwhelming task. I had no clue what to look for in a doctor after the birth of my first baby. I was lucky in discovering our family doctor through a recommendation I received prior to getting pregnant. Recommendations from trusted friends are certainly a great way to go if their preferences match yours. If you are embarking on calling on a few doctors that you’ve heard good things about to interview the office and determine if the doctor/practice is AP-friendly and a good match for your family, here’s a list of recommended questions to consider:
- Does the doctor like to give parenting advice on sleeping, letting a baby cry at night, etc?
- Does he or she support breast-feeding?
- Does office have a lactation consultant?
- How hard is it to get same day sick appointment?
- How far out do they schedule well exams?
- Does the waiting room have lots of toys? Germ magnets!
Additional recommended interview questions courtesy of Ashli Pate, Group Leader of the Austin Attachment Parenting Big Tent group:
- Hours, including after hours availability?
- Accepting new patients?
- Charge for private consult?
- Separate sick/well areas?
- Accept our insurance?
- Practice philosophy?
- Opinion about vaccinations (not doing at all, delaying, giving one at a time)? Use of antibiotics?
- Comfort level, feelings about, recommendations for the use of integrative therapies (herbal, diet, lifestyle, acupuncture, etc.)?
- Policy about talking to patients on the phone?
- How long it takes to get in when sick and when well?
- Do you (the patient’s parent) like the other physicians in the practice and do they share a similar practice philosophy?
LIST of RECOMMENDED AP-FRIENDLY AUSTIN DOCTORS (This list includes pediatricians and family medicine doctors. Local AP-ers, if you have a name to add to this list, please add a comment or send me an email – thank you!):
- Elliot Trester, M.D., Central Family Practice 801 W. 34th Street, Suite 102, Austin, Texas 78705. 512.371.9260. Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:30 to 5:00. Trester gets a lot of recommendations from Austin AP families: Integrated traditional Western medicine and alternative therapies available; Specializes in women’s health; Online Herb Store great resource; Note: Central Family Practice does not file insurance. You must pay cash and file it yourself for reimbursement.
- Valerie Wheelock, M.D., Barton Creek Pediatrics. 7004 Bee Caves Road, Building 1 Suite 210 Austin, TX 78746. 512.327.0562. After hours: 512.323.5465. By Appointment Only: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 8:30 – 5:00; Wed 8:30 – 12:00. On-call doctor 24/7. Multiple recommendations from AP families in Austin. Though she gives a pitch for vaccines, she supports non, or delayed. Very holistic. Also, though I’ve never heard of Dr. Wheelock pro-actively making sleep-training recommendations to parents — she has a copy of Ferber’s “How to Solve your Child’s Sleep Problems” in every exam room. So if you ask her advice on this subject, I would expect her to suggest cry-it-out training.
- Geoffrey Cox, M.D., Seton Health Partners. 7900 Fm 1826 Ste 240, Austin, TX 78737. 512.416.0044. Supports home birth (one of his was born at home); doesn’t push anti-biotics, accepting of non-vax patients and very supportive of breastfeeding; on board of directors for Milk Bank. A few Austin AP Mamas have said they don’t like him/nurses b/c of vaccine pressure and insensitivity to children’s fears.
- Theresa Pugh, M.D. and Ajay Gupta, M.D., Jefferson Street Family Practice 1101 W. 40th St., Austin, TX 78756. 512.459.4147. Office hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00-12:00, 12:30-6:00; Saturday, 8:00 AM (by appointment). Telephone hours: 8:30-12:00, 12:30-4:30.
- Thomas B. Dawson, MD. 1301 W 38th St Ste 514, Austin, TX 78705. 512.467.1600
- Roger Gildersleeve, M.D., Sage Family Medicine 1000 Hesters Crossing Suite 200, Round Rock, TX 78681. 512.244.0446. Has online forum where he will directly answer questions 24/7. Speaks to patients for as long as needed. Accepting of parents not wanting to vaccinate.
- William D. Caldwell, M.D., F.A.A.P., Austin Doctor’s Building 1305 West 34th Street, Suite 210, Austin Texas 78705. 512.454.0406. Office hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Samuel A. Mirrop, M.D. 1500 W 38th Suite # 20, Austin, TX 78731. 512.458.5323. Experienced; Listens to parents’ concerns with vaccinations; Tolerant of parents not wanting to vaccinate, but prefers vaccinating children.
- Sheila D. Boes, M.D., Pediatric Associates of Austin 1500 W 38th Street, Austin, TX 78731. 512.458.5323. Open to alternative vaccination schedules; Can call the office anytime during office hours and speak to a nurse; Supports vaccinating children.
- Dr. Ting-Chuan Chang/Dr. Wade Travis, Treehouse Pediatrics. 15930 Great Oaks Drive, Round Rock, TX 78681. 512.255.8868. Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (sick children only). Dr. Chang has great reviews, not taking new patients right now though. Dr. Travis is taking new kids, has good reviews as well. Note: They do not accept patients requesting delayed or select refusal of vaccines.
- Kristy D. Heatly, d.o./Florence C. Spitler, d.o., Georgetown Family Medicine. 1900 Scenic Dr. Suite 1128, Georgetown, TX 78626. 512.864.2911
- Jack Louis, M.D., Austin Pediatric Clinic. 711 West 38th Street, Austin, TX 78705. 512-458-6717
- Lisa Hutchens, M.D., School House Pediatrics. 4201 Bee Caves Road, West Lake Hills, TX 78746. 512.327.1155. Dr. Hutchens is recommended as very AP-friendly, gentle, supportive, quick to return calls and — big plus — open Saturday mornings. Only negative is that they don’t have separate areas for well vs. sick exams, though they clean toys in waiting area frequently.
Tags: Austin AP-Friendly Doctors, Choosing a Pediatrician, How to Choose a Pediatrician, Recommended Doctors in Austin