Posts Tagged ‘How to Choose a Pediatrician’

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:

  • Location?
  • 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.


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Posted in AP Friendly Doctors, Austin | 15 Comments


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