One of the more important decisions a new parent will make is choosing a pediatrician. Not because the health of your child hangs in the balance, but because your mental health is under siege. In this age of fear where people stand in line for hours to get the H1N1 shot and sanitizer hand pumps are considered de rigueur, you need someone to go to with all your questions and concerns.
The best way to find a pediatrician is by referral through a trusted friend, doctor or colleague. The search process usually takes place during your last trimester and in most cases pediatricians agree to meet with you for free. Make sure you find someone you feel comfortable calling in the middle of the night when your kid hacks up something unrecognizable. And remember, just because you started with someone, doesn't mean you can't change your mind, shop around and find someone else. YOU are the parent. It's YOUR call!
If you are having trouble finding someone that you like, here are a handful of names that come up when talking to other parents in the Mid-City/Westside, along with some information. Make sure you ask up front about what insurance plans they accept. You'll go to the doctor quite a bit in the first couple years and you want to make sure you're covered.
- La Peer Pediatrics in Beverly Hills: Dr. Lauren Crosby and Dr. Kimberly Diamond at La Peer Pediatrics are widely loved for their compassionate bedside manner and emotional connection. They do, however, charge a yearly administration fee of $150, which does annoy some parents. (310) 652-5004
- Sloninsky & Sanford Pediatrics: Located at Cedar Sinai, Dr. Liliana Sloninsky and Dr. Margaret Sanford are long established doctors with a loyal following. They also have several younger doctors in the practice who are well loved. (310) 854-3043
- Roxbury Pediatrics: Dr. Kim Klausner is a young, bright pediatrician who comes well recommended at Roxbury Pediatrics, a fairly new practice located in Beverly Hills. (310) 657-4586
- Dr. Manali Shendrikar at Santa Monica Bay Physicians is a Family Practice doctor with a fantastic bedside manner and ability to relate to working mothers. Her office is located at St. John's in Santa Monica. (310) 586-9002.
- Beverly Hills Pediatrics is one of the first places mentioned by westside parents. Dr. Bess Raker and Dr. Scott Cohen are local favorites. However, this office only takes newborns and requires you schedule a meeting/tour months in advance and they have been known to ask people in the entertainment business for their credits over the phone before scheduling a tour. (310) 854-0770
- Dr. Peter Waldstein has a reputation of being extremely responsive, business-like and professional. He is especially good with parents whose children are born premature and has an old school bedside manner. (310) 659-9687
- Dr. Vivian Liu of Manhattan Beach also comes well recommended. However, she might have a hold on accepting new parents, so make sure you don't wait until your due date to call. (310) 335-1411
Warning: Your kid won't consistently love any of these people, due to the fact that they will often receive a shot at the end of their visit. So don't expect them to feel as comforted by the experience as you do.