Choosing a Pediatrician

Selecting a healthcare provider for your baby can be difficult, especially if you are expecting your first child.  Bristol Hospital hopes to make your decisions a bit easier by offering these tips.  We strongly encourage you to choose a physician early in your pregnancy, well before you come in for delivery.

Type of Healthcare Providers


Pediatricians are graduates of four-year medical schools with three additional years of specialty training in pediatrics.  All Bristol Hospital pediatricians are board-certified.  This means they have passed a rigorous exam and maintain a standard practice consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Family Practitioners

Family practitioners are graduates of four-year medical schools with three additional years of training in family practice.  All Bristol Hospital family practitioners are board-certified by the American Board of Family Practice.

Nurse Practitioners/Physician Assistants

A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice registered nurse, which means they are graduates with a master's degree in their health-related field.  Physician Assistants graduate from an accredited Physician Assistant program and pass a certification exam.  Both work in collaborationwith a physician to provide high quality, individualized patient care. 

How to Find a Healthcare Provider Who is Right For Your Family

  • Ask your obstetrician for their recommendation
  • Ask trusted friends, neighbors and teachers with children
  • Visit the Bristol Hospital website and click Find A Doctor 

Considerations When Choosing a Healthcare Provider

  • Type of practice - single, partner or group
  • Location of the office
  • Who "covers" the practice when they are not available
  • What hospital do the providers prefer to use
  • Is the provider board-certified in their specialty

When You Come to the Hospital to Deliver Your Baby

You will have a pediatrician or advanced practitioner at your delivery. A pediatric hospitalist will care for your baby throughout your stay.  This person will see your baby daily while in the hospital and assure you have an appointment with your pediatrician for your babies first check up shortly after being discharged. 

Bristol Hospital is one of the few community hospitals in Connecticut to have a 24/7 pediatric hospitalist program for our newborns.  Pediatric hospitalists are physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.  A pediatric hospitalist may, but is not limited to:
  • Attend the delivery of a baby
  • Provide care for a newborn
  • Perform a circumcision on a newborn

Making a Prenatal 'Get Acquainted' Visit

Once you have narrowed down your choices for a pediatrician, you may want to make an appointment to visit the practices.  Ask questions such as:
  • What are your philosophies on vaccinations, antibiotic use, discipline and nutrition?
  • When is the doctor available by phone?
  • How are "after hours" calls handled?
  • Which insurance plans does the practice participate in and what is the fee structure?
  • Do they have regular night and weekend hours for routine and sick visits?

At this visit, take a look around the office:

  • Are the surroundings child-friendly?
  • Do the office personnel treat you cordially?

After you have selected a practice, notify their office and have the name and address with you when you come to the hospital in labor.  

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