What Makes a Great Pediatrician?


2010843340_4386c44418_zLast week I took MJ into the pediatrician for his 3 year well visit.  After telling our doctor that we were expecting again, he said, “You know, I’d love to keep seeing the kids but you don’t have to come all this way. I could recommend someone closer to you.”

It sort of caught me by surprise. It’s not that far of a drive really and we’ve been doing it for awhile now. I never thought twice about it because we LOVE our pediatrician.  We switched to him when MJ was just a few weeks old and he basically held our hands through a difficult start with MJ and a failure to thrive diagnosis.  So it got me thinking….what makes him worth the drive?

He Listens

From day one our pediatrician listened to us. To all our worries and concerns and never once made me feel rushed or silly.  He is so patient.  Sometimes this means I wait a little bit at the office, but I don’t mind because I know this means he’s giving all his patients the same great care. It also means I pack snacks and toys! But I know that and I’m okay with it.  And I know when it’s my turn, he’ll give me all the time I need and want.

Respects Me As a Parent

He shakes my hand and the start and end of every appointment.  It makes me feel as though he truly respects me as a parent and as the top authority on my little guy. I often go in there worrying and feeling insecure and I always leave feeling better.  He never makes me feel bad when I bring him in for a fever, a funny bruise or a cough that won’t go away.  Most parents are hard enough on themselves, it’s nice to have someone in your corner.11354694_783635851000_501690245_n

Gives Encouragement Freely

Let’s face it, being a parent is hard and can sometimes feel like you’re in the trenches. Especially in those first few months as a first time parent.  It meant a lot to me that our pediatrician praised MJ and praised us for how he was growing and learning. He told us things we were doing well. He smiled, looked us in the eye and gave a virtual pat on the back.  I’ll remember those kind words for years to come.

Gentle, Kind and Funny

Like most kids, MJ is never thrilled to go to the doctors, but our pediatrician is so gentle with him.  He shows him how things work in his office and explains the things he’s doing. He gets the job done but never forces things. And he has a sense of humor! One time I got a “prescription” for at least 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep and another time he gave us another one for a date night at least once a month.11355611_783635846010_1424370685_n

He is Available

When I call, I can get an appointment. Whether it’s for next week or tomorrow, if we need to be seen, he sees us. When I call off hours I get a calling service, but then our pediatrician calls me back. Sometimes we just talk through the issue and I go in the next business day, other times he’ll see me then. Even if it’s on a Sunday afternoon for that RSV cough that just won’t go away.   Because you know….kids don’t just get sick Monday through Friday 8-5.

And you know what? It’s totally okay to change pediatricians if you aren’t happy. We had to do that and we haven’t looked back, it was the best decision we made. When I mentioned the conversation with the pediatrician to my husband, he reacted the same way. Why would we change?

What do you think makes a great pediatrician? What would you add to this list?


  1. We have two Pediatricians at the same practice, that way if one child’s doctor is unavailable, we may get in with the sibling’s practitioner. They are both familiar with the family, and we get bounced to strangers less often.

    My favorite thing about both of them is that they’ll tell us when there is something they don’t know. I cannot overemphasize how important this is to us. “I don’t know. I’ll see what I can find and get back to you.” –and then they do. They’ll often tell us some background of what they’ve found too, whether it came from a colleague that has more specialized knowledge, or a particular organization or study.

    • That sounds great Millie!! I’d love those things too! I love that they don’t make you believe they know EVERYTHING but are life long learners. That’s awesome.

  2. i am going through some medical issues with my youngest right now and there are 2 things that immediately come to mind. First I should mention this practice has quite a few doctors and NPs. And they all exhibit these things.

    1- they are not afraid to ask for another doctors opinion. Twice in the last few weeks we were at the office (I think we have squatting rights now) the main doc has called in another doc for a second opinion. This makes me feel confident that my child is getting competint care.
    2-follow up phone calls. Even if it’s just the secretary, it’s nice to know that the doc really cares enough about your child that they want to make sure things are going ok.
    3-Excellent nurses and being able to get sick visits easily and quickly.
    Ok, I lied- I originally said 2 but here are 3.
    I love my pediatritions.

    • I’m really sorry to hear that you’re having medical issues now. That’s so hard, but I’m happy to hear you’re happy with the care you are getting. I’m sure that makes it a little better. I love what you said about getting the second opinion. That seems huge! Follow up calls are great too. Our pediatrician did that when MJ had RSV as a baby and that meant a lot to me too. Thanks for the comment!


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