3 steps to choosing a pediatrician

Parents want the very best for their child and choosing a pediatrician is an important decision. Consider these tips when making your choice:

1. Start by defining your priorities

Decide what is most important to you and your family in choosing a pediatrician. Below are questions to consider:

  • What is the pediatrician’s philosophy of care? Does it align with your values?
  • Are the clinic locations convenient to work or home?
  • Does the clinic offer conveniences that are important to you, such as walk-in care or weekend hours?
  • Does the clinic have an affiliation with a hospital or connection with a network of specialty care?
  • Is the doctor and/or clinic considered “in network” for the health insurance that covers your child?

2. Seek recommendations and do some research

  • Ask your obstetrician or midwife for recommendations. Get more than just names and clinics: ask why they think you should trust the provider with your child’s care.
  • Ask family and friends who share your values about their experiences with specific clinics and pediatricians.
  • Research both pediatricians and clinics online to see how they fit with your priorities.
  • Call the clinic to ask questions; if a pediatrician isn’t available, talk with the clinic manager.
  • Arrange a meeting with the pediatrician (in person or on the phone).

3. Narrow down your choices and ask questions


View hours, maps, directions and more for each Children’s Minnesota clinic.


Is there easy to find parking?

Is the building accessible for your family?

How many years has the clinic been in practice?

What is the level of training (physician, nurse practitioner, pediatric or family practice specialty)?

Do you prefer a male or female pediatrician for your child?

What is the providers’ communication style? Do they listen to and trust your instincts? Will they work as a partner in your child’s care?

What is their philosophy of care? Ask about opinions on vaccination use, frequency of well-child check-ups, prescribing medications and treating the whole child.

What are the office hours? Are weekend or after hours care available?

Do they have same-day or walk-in appointments available?

How many pediatricians are at the clinic to care for your child if your primary care provider is unavailable?

Do they have a triage nurse to take calls during the day and after hours?

What other services are available at the clinic (X-ray, lab, lactation consultant, telehealth, specialists, pharmacy)?

Are staff helpful and friendly?

Do they understand your kid’s needs and respond accordingly?

Is there a separate waiting area for well children and/or newborns?

Is the wait time reasonable?

Is the clinic part of a larger health system with access to pediatric specialty clinics and hospitals?

What hospital emergency room do they recommend?

Is the clinic and its affiliates within your insurance network?

Does the clinic accept a variety of insurance plans in case your coverage changes?

What if you don’t have insurance?