General Question

preggers's avatar

How do you choose a new Obgyn?

Asked by preggers (293points) April 16th, 2009

Everyone seems to have an opinion, but I’m not sure who to listen to…

I googled suggestions. One site suggested that I ask the head nurse at a local, reputable hospital for a recommendation. Makes sense because they see all the doctors at their best and at their worst. Except they’re too busy to return any of my calls.

I tried to narrow it down. I used my insurance company’s site to find Board Certified Obgyns within a ten-mile radius. I also made sure that they were affiliated with the hospital I want to have my delivery. That got it down to 40 doctors.

I asked for recommendations. My sister’s friend (doctor with two kids) gave me three recommendations. One wasn’t Board Certified and another doesn’t seem to have a medical license in California! (There is a site where you can check the status of a physician’s medical license.) The third recommendation looks okay, but seems a bit discredited by the other two.

My husband’s co-worker (mother of two) also gave me a recommendation. But her recommendation has a really poor Yelp review. I know Yelp isn’t exactly known for its medical reviews, but 2 stars seems pretty low. (Most of the other reviews seem to be at least 3 stars.)

I read reviews. I tried to narrow down my list a bit further by reading reviews on, Yelp and some local online boards. I’m not really sure how dependable these sites are.

Finally, I asked my general practitioner. They recommended a doctor. They said that she comes highly recommended. She accepted my insurance plan, was Board Certified, was located just down the street, was affiliated with my preferred hospital, had a current medical license and had favorable reviews on HealthGrades, Yelp and that local online board.

I decided to go with their recommendation.

Now I’m feeling a little uncertain about my choice.

How should I go about finding a new Obgyn? I’ve exhausted my ideas (with questionable results). How did you you find your Obgyn?

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26 Answers

Snoopy's avatar

Why are you feeling uneasy about your choice? Sounds like you did the research and came up w/ an acceptable choice.


preggers's avatar

My previous question explains why I’m feeling a bit uneasy about my choice.
The two main reasons are:
1. It feels really impersonal. I’m in my 15th week and haven’t met my doctor yet.
2. They messed up on my cultures because they didn’t check the expiration date.
It makes me wonder if they are competent.

Darwin's avatar

So the doctor with the problems you cite in your other question is the one you picked? Do you know any other people who have given birth within the last couple of years? Can you ask them for other doctors?

Are there any midwives or doulas in your area? You might ask them who they might suggest. They generally know most of the doctors who deal with childbirth in a particular location and can tell which ones want to listen to their patients and which ones don’t.

You can also seek out either La Leche League or a Lamaze class and ask the folks involved in those groups who they recommend and why.

You should feel good about who you are working with and if you don’t you need to vote with your feet.

preggers's avatar

Yes, so much for doing research.

All of the people we know who have given birth within the last couple of years don’t live in the area. We are the local guinea pigs.

We’re in the Bay Area, so I’m guessing there are plenty of midwives or doulas. But how do you go about finding a reputable one? [more head scratching]

What’s La Leche League? I’ve considered classes as another possible resource. I’m starting a prenatal exercise class later this month. That would probably be helpful for future references and questions. But I have an appointment coming up. Meaning I’ve got to cancel and reschedule ASAP. Though I suppose I could keep going to my current Obgyn until I find a new one?

Usually I’d trust my gut more. But my hormones are making me a little crazy and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just being overly-sensitive.

I’d vote with my feet if I knew where to direct them!

janbb's avatar

I voted with my feet twice. I had fibroid tumors and my first gyn said I’d have to have a hysterectomy. I switched to a woman who I thought would be better and was a recommendation from a friend, but I ended up feeling she was awful. Her office told me I couldn’t talk to the doctor on the phone about an episode of heavy bleeding; that I would have to come in. Also, she asked me “why wouldn’t I want to have a hysterectomy?” when I was reading that there were much less radical treatments. The gyn I have now was recommended by my therapist who had heard reports of him. He’s been lovely. The first time I saw him, he said you can’t go on like this and also that I didn’t have to have a hysterectomy at my age. He scheduled me for a procedure and within 6 weeks the problem was better. So the moral of the story is, keep moving til you find one you like. And yes, you should be meeting them from the beginning even if they are not there for all the testing.

How to find one? Keep asking around. Maybe you can go to the ob/gyn ward of the hospital you plan to deliver at and ask the nurses; they usually have the goods on all the local ob/gyns.

asmonet's avatar

@Darwin: I was just going to suggest checking with midwives, often they’ve been in the business for decades, and if not there’s a fairly well-connected community to draw resources and advice from.

Darwin's avatar

@preggersLa Leche League is an organization that promotes breastfeeding. There are many members who all have had children recently and they are generally quite vocal about their experiences and choices.

As to finding a midwife to talk to, you could try these people and see if they know of someone near you.

preggers's avatar

@janbb Good point. Asking the head nurse was a great suggestion and I may have given up too soon. I should be more persistent and ask them in person.

I’m bummed to hear you had to go through two doctors first, but I’m glad to hear you found (finally!) a doctor that listened to you. :)

@Darwin You rock. I wish I could give you more lurve.

Darwin's avatar

Glad I could help.

Mr_M's avatar

Eliminate anyone that served time as a sex offender.

casheroo's avatar

Have you given birth before?

Before I had my son, I just went to the same place as my mother and Aunt, we all love that place. I liked my experience with them during my pregnancy, but HATED the hospital they were associated with, for the delivery.
I won’t ever have the same insurance, so I can’t go back to them. But, that’s a nonissue.
For me, if I were to chose an OB/GYN, the hospital that the delivery would take place would be crucial.
My requirements are that it has a NICU, pro-breastfeeding (don’t be fooled, not all hospitals are pro-breastfeeding. You can only learn this from talking to other women and hearing their experiences) Also, I would only like a private room, after giving birth, and a place that had many options for helping me have a vaginal delivery. Like birthing balls, and a bar over the bed, let me be on my knees to deliver…that sort of thing.
When choosing an OB, think about the hospital, that’s my advice.

preggers's avatar

@Mr_M Okay. I realize your quip doesn’t really warrant a serious response. But I did actually check the status of their medical license. I’d guess that would cover it.

@casheroo No. This will be my first time. My family doesn’t live in the area. Also, our family doctor (who delivered me) passed away several years ago. :(

Everyone’s opinion on best doctor seems to vary. But the opinion on best hospital (in this area) seems unanimous. I think they have a NICU, but I’m curious if they have everything else that you mentioned. I hadn’t even considered that a hospital would not be pro-breastfeeding. I also like the option of being on my knees to deliver.

You’ve all given me quite a bit to look into!

Mr_M's avatar

If you deliver on your knees, does the poor kid bang his head on the floor?

preggers's avatar

@Mr_M Only if you drop him.

casheroo's avatar

@Mr_M lol Giving birth on your knees is one of the best ways, also holding onto a bar above you, it helps the baby come out, and helps prevent tearing.

Mr_M's avatar

Not for nothing, but don’t you have to spread your legs?

preggers's avatar

@Mr_M You can still spread your legs while on your knees, silly. The idea is to let gravity help you do some of the work.

Mr_M's avatar

Now I need a cold shower.

casheroo's avatar

It’s best to let it just slide right out.

preggers's avatar

If you look at the way the coccyx is curved, it doesn’t really make sense to deliver laying down. In that position, the baby has to go over a bump to make it out. (A lot of women who deliver laying down develop back pain in this area.) But if you’re on your knees or upright, it’s no longer an obstacle. You can think of it as a little water slide. ;)

Mr_M's avatar

6 Flags!

ru2bz46's avatar

In choosing a gyno, my wife always looks at their hands – the smaller, the better.

YARNLADY's avatar

I read your other question, so here’s what I did when I wasn’t comfortable with my doctor. I wrote him a letter explaining what I expected and what I got, and asked him to let me know what his recommendation was. He made an appointment for me to come in for a consultation and discuss my concerns, and then he made sure they were all remedied.

preggers's avatar

@ru2bz46 Such a seemingly obvious suggestion. But I wouldn’t have even thought of it if you hadn’t mentioned it. Thanks!

@YARNLADY Another seemingly obvious, but overlooked option. Being upfront about things sounds like a good idea. But part of the problem is that I’m not really sure what to expect. And the two main problems (where I did have expectations) are in the past. I’m actually scheduled to meet with her my next appointment and I doubt they’d goof on my cultures again.

I do like the idea of talking to her before changing doctors though. It seems more honest. I think if the situation were reversed, I’d appreciate it.

lisaj89's avatar

I would ask friends for recommendations if I were you. Luckily the emergency Gyn my finger landed on in the phone book the first time ended up being amazing. Sounds like you did plenty of research which will probably work out well for you. Really, it just depends on the personalities of yourself and the doctor. The awesome thing about it is if you don’t like them just find another one!

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