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Selecting a pediatrician

Selecting a pediatrician

Congratulations! We’re delighted that you are considering using our services. We consider it a privilege to partner with you in the care of your child in the months and years ahead.

The pediatrician of your choice will be primarily responsible for your baby's care (your baby's primary care physician (PCP)) and will care for you and your family at well child visits and urgent care visits whenever possible. However, for urgent care visits, there is a good chance that you will interact with other members of our faculty team depending on appointment availability.

Expectant parents often find it helpful to schedule a prenatal conference with potential pediatricians and to tour clinics. These meetings provide us an opportunity to get to know one another and discuss important issues before your baby is born. A prenatal conference is not mandatory. If you would like to schedule one, please call (804) 828-CHOR (2467) and ask to schedule a prenatal appointment with a pediatrician.

Please check out the frequently asked questions below for more information on our clinic.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What happens when my baby is born?

A: When delivering at VCU Medical Center:

You’ll meet first with a pediatric intern who will evaluate your newborn. The attending (pediatrician) covering the nursery when your baby is born runs the team and makes all medical decisions for your newborn.

A clinic appointment will be made for your newborn prior to being discharged from the hospital. We typically see newborns within one to three days of delivery to check on feeding, weight and possibly bilirubin (jaundice). We will do our best to schedule you with the pediatrician of your choice for this first visit.

The nursery team will give you paperwork on your new baby at the time of discharge. The most important paper to bring to your first visit is the discharge summary from the newborn nursery.

When delivering at another hospital:

Your child will be seen by a pediatrician at the delivering hospital. We will not be able to see your child at delivery in another hospital. The best plan if your baby is born at another hospital is to call (804) 828-CHOR (2467) the day of your delivery to schedule an appointment for one to two days after the planned discharge day. Make sure that you are given paperwork from the delivering hospital. This paperwork should cover the basics like birth weight, discharge weight, bilirubin level and any other information pertinent to your delivery.

Q: How does your practice work and who can I expect to see at each visit?

A: Our practice is a group practice—patients usually see the same doctor at every well visit unless they request otherwise. If your doctor is not assigned to the clinic the day of an urgent care call/sick visit, we will schedule an appointment for you with another doctor.

Q: How do I schedule appointments?

A: Call (804) 828-CHOR (2467).

Age birth – 2: Appointments can be scheduled three months prior to the visit either by phone or as you leave our office.

Age 2+: Appointments need to be made prior to the desired appointment date and cannot be scheduled months in advance. Sick visits are typically seen within 24 hours.

Q: Who answers problem/concern calls from parents?

A: Daytime questions are handled by a triage nurse and nighttime calls are triaged by pediatric residents. In both cases a pediatrician is available for backup if there are further questions or concerns.

Q: Where is the CHoR primary care clinic located?

A: Children's Pavilion - Level 4, Pod G

Appointments: (804) 828-CHOR (2467)
Fax: (804) 827-4180

Q: What insurance plans do you accept?

A: We accept most major insurance carriers.

Q: How often will my baby need to be seen during his/her first year of life?

A: Regular well child examinations are usually scheduled at approximately:

  • Two weeks
  • Four weeks
  • Two months
  • Four months
  • Six months
  • Nine months
  • One year

These visits are used to monitor growth and development; provide immunizations; answer any questions and concerns you might have; and provide guidance as your child grows.

Q: What is your philosophy on breast feeding vs. bottle feeding?

A: We encourage all mothers to try to breastfeed at least once. Even if you only breastfeed one day, your baby will benefit. If you choose to breastfeed, make sure you inform the labor and delivery staff that you want to breastfeed in the delivery room. This is often when your baby will be most alert and ready to feed for that first day. We have many patients who, for various reasons, are on formula. There are some very good formulas available, and we will work with you to determine which is best for your baby.

Dr. Gulati runs a lactation clinic to provide extra help for nursing mothers who are experiencing challenges with breastfeeding. Additionally, some of our nurses have been trained as lactation specialists and can often provide extra support and advice at appointments if desired.

Q: What immunization schedule do you use?

A: We follow the immunization schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. We will inform you of upcoming immunizations at each checkup.

Q: What is your philosophy on immunizations?

A: We believe that immunizations are beneficial to your child's health. The United States Food and Drug Administration has a very meticulous regimen for approving vaccines, and we feel that they have approved vaccines which are safe, effective and protect both our children and others from many serious diseases. Vaccines, like any medicine, have potential side effects; however, we feel that the benefits of disease prevention outweigh risks of side effects. We encourage parents to be informed by reading reliable information about vaccines.

There has been much written about vaccines and reactions in the last several years. Much of this information has not been scientifically proven. In fact, most has been scientifically disproved. We have kept abreast of all new information and advances involving vaccines and continue to believe that all children are best served by completing the immunization schedule in a timely fashion.

 
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