PortraitJerold Woodhead, MD, a pediatrician at University of Iowa Health Care—Iowa River Landing, offers some helpful tips on finding a doctor for your child:

  • Don’t delay. If possible, choose a baby doctor well in advance of the due date. Everything will go more smoothly, and you’ll feel more comfortable with your choice.
  • Know your options. Learn about the various types of pediatric care providers available to you.
  • Be systematic. Compile a list of potential doctors and go from there. Ask your friends, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers with kids—people you trust. If you’re compiling a list of doctors for your baby, ask your obstetrician or midwife for recommendations.
  • Ask the right questions of the people you trust. For a handy list, see below.
  • Once you have your list, narrow it to a small handful you’d like to meet in person. Then schedule get-acquainted sessions and make your choice.
  • Last but not least, consider the value of a team approach. Everyone at University of Iowa Health Care takes a team approach to health care. This team includes doctors, nurses, therapists, technologists, support staff, and others. Most importantly, it includes you and your family. UI Health Care encourages and welcomes your participation in the health care team. In fact, we believe patient and family participation are vitally important factors in assuring that the best possible care.

Questions to ask of the people you trust

  • How much does the doctor seem to enjoy working with children?
  • Does the doctor seem to be aware of the latest medical advances?
  • Does he or she welcome questions?
  • Does the doctor listen to your concerns?
  • How helpful and courteous are the office staff?
  • how pleasant and child-friendly is the waiting room?
  • How convenient is the parking?
  • Is there anything you wish was different about your child’s doctor or practice?

Questions to ask of a potential doctor

  • Are you certified by a medical/specialty board?
  • How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
  • Do you encourage “preventive medicine” such as routine checkups, immunizations, and follow-up tests?
  • Do you keep paper or electronic medical records?
  • Do you take questions by e-mail?
  • What arrangements are made for a substitute if you are unavailable?

After hours at the Iowa River Landing

It isn’t always convenient for parents or children to see the doctor during regular workday hours. That’s why University of Iowa Health Care—Iowa River Landing offers after-hours appointments on evenings and weekends.