No matter what kind of provider you choose, it’s important to ask questions up front. It helps you feel more comfortable with your provider and helps them get to know you too. We came across some websites that had some good tips on interviewing a doctor and evaluating your comfort level so we thought we’d share them with you.
While you are waiting to see the doctor, take a look around the office. Is it comfortable and clean? Was the staff nice to you? How long did you have to wait? Ask someone at the desk if that is a typical wait time. You can also ask the front desk some office related questions such as office hours (weekend/nights?), payment plan options, postpartum resources, how long prenatal visits are scheduled to last, who to contact if you have questions between visits, breastfeeding support, etc.
When you see the doctor, don’t be afraid to ask him/her questions. You could even tell them that you’d like to get to know them a bit before they start their exam. I’ll list some examples below.
- How long have you been in practice?
- What board certifications do you have? Are you a member of any organizations related to the OB/GYN field?
- Where did you get your training and when?
- Do you work individually or as a group? (If group, ask to meet the others.)
- Why did you become an OB/GYN doctor?
- What do you like best about your job?
- What are some typical tests that might be done to someone like me?
- What hospitals do you work with?
- If you are unavailable, who is your backup?
- If there is an emergency, are you reachable? How would I reach you?
- How many babies do you deliver vaginally versus c-section?
- How often do you have to use the vacuum or forceps?
- What is your position on interventions such as induction, c-sections, pain control, episiotomies, monitoring, IVs, etc.?
- How often do you do episiotomies?
- What labor method do you support?
- Do you use birth plans?
- Are you experienced working with high-risk pregnancies/deliveries?
- Do you have any scheduling conflicts as of now around my due date?
- When we arrive at the hospital, how often/long will you be with me?
- Tell me about a typical birth.
After your appointment, reassess your experience and ask yourself if you were comfortable with the doctor and other staff. Did the doctor include your partner in the visit? Did it appear that the doctor had a personal interest in helping you?
Remember, no concern or thought is abnormal! Do what feels right for you and your family. Good luck!