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Selecting a Pediatrician in Hong Kong

  1. #1
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Sep 2002
    Pokfulam, Hong Kong

    Selecting a Pediatrician

    During your final trimester, you will need to select a pediatrician for your baby. The pediatrician will visit your baby at the hospital daily and approve the administration of all vaccinations before he or she is discharged.

    Start by asking family, friends and co-workers for recommendations. Drs will also be listed and reviewed in our Resource Directory on GeoBaby.Com You can conduct a phone interview or make an appointment and interview selected Drs face-to-face. If a physician is unwilling or "too busy" to meet with you, take that as a sign that they're not the best candidate to handle your child's care.

    Interview Questions:
    • What are his office hours?
    • Details on his medical training and where did he go to medical school?
    • If calling for a routine visit right now, how soon can you get an appointment?
    • Will he or other physicians/nurses in the practice discuss health problems over the phone?
    • If the practice recognizes the health plan you belong to?
    • How much are consultations? How much will he charge for visiting the baby at the hospital after the birth?
    • How are emergency situations are handled?
    • Which hospital is he affiliated with?
    • Will your child see him at each appointment, or will other physicians in the practice step in?
    • Will he make house calls?
    • Who will cover for him during vacations?

    The next serious of questions determine how comfortable you feel with your Dr and if his philosophy is more or less in line with yours.

    • What are his views on breastfeeding and formula feeding?
    • When does he recommend starting solid foods?
    • Does he recommend boys be circumcised?
    • What are his thoughts on vaccinations?
    • Should you join a well baby package or will he administer all the vaccinations himself in his clinic?
    • How often does he prescribe antibiotics?
    Last edited by rani; 06-13-2006 at 08:54 AM.
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  2. #2
    shri's Avatar
    shri is offline Administrator
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    Aug 2002
    Hong Kong
    In perspective there are three types of pediatircians (like any other type of doctor to be honest).

    a) Competant Healers / Caregivers: These are people who will care about you and your child. They may not make it to the glamor pages in the weekly magazine section, but they will definately make it into your christmas card list. (pardon my cliched statement).

    b) Celebrity Doctor: Every recommends them and everyone raves about them... ask the ravers if they've had an emergency with this doctor and what the response has been like.

    c) Your basic incompetant nincompoop: Do keep in mind that not every doctor is really good. Like most practises, some people ace their exams and some people barely pass.

    My most important criteria now would be:-

    Find out if the doctor really cares. If they care, they'll talk to you about their practise and background... yes, its pre-sales work, but there are doctors in town who cant be bothered doing this and you have to wonder.

    One more random thought .. do your research on some issues which you may consider controversial and see if your doctors philsophies match yours. When push comes to shove, you want a doctor who agrees with you or has the ability to convince you. Many a doctor in town will not spend the time explaining the pros and cons of the treatment options.

  3. #3
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Sep 2002
    Pokfulam, Hong Kong
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  4. #4
    loupou is offline Baby Guru
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    Mar 2003
    New Territories

    No need to be uptight about paed. GP's OK too

    I did not select my paed. in the 3rd trimester.

    My first child I gave birth at Matilda and because "needs must" used the services of the paed. on call there.

    I had absoultely no intention of traveling that far after I brought my child home.

    So, I brought her to my GP (who worked in the same block as I lived) who was perfectly capable of assessing her and giving her jabs. My GP even helped me w/ breastfeeding because she fed her own babies.

    When I moved house to another part of the NT, I looked for someone who was convenient (location and hours) and with whom I felt I could communicate. I did not find him for a couple of months. He is a paed. but also does GP work, so he can treat the whole family.

    As for the "Interview Questions"
    2 can be answered by standing outside the door of the doctor's office:
    *Insurance accepted

    Then you walk into the office. Most doctors in HK put their certificates on the wall of their reception areas, so you can find out:
    *Where they went to medical school
    * What year they graduated
    *Any specialist training certificates

    You can then ask the receptionist for the schedule of fees ('but they are often posted as well).

    As for emergencies - if my kid has an accident like a broken arm or bashed in head, I will certainly head for the emergency room of the nearest public hospital.

    The other questions on vaccinations and circumcision...
    Most HK doctors recommend that a boy remain uncut unless there is some medical indication (such as the foreskin so tight that the urine cannot pass easily).

    Re: vaccinations - you can get them at most private doctors, GP or otherwise. Or you can get them for free at the Maternal and Child Health Centres.

    It's been my experience that local pre-schools demand proof of vaccination before they admit your child.

    So, I see no real point in choosing a paed. in the 3rd trimester. Shop around after the bb is born and remember that the same GP you go to might be the best person to treat your child as well.

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