When it comes time to pick an OB/GYN, it can be confusing. You may not even know which factors to consider and what questions to ask—especially if you are pregnant for the first time. We sat down with Dr. Michelle Quinn, OB/GYN at Women’s Healthcare Affiliates, located at the Mary Potter Physicians Pavilion (2850 W. 95th Street, Suite 103) to get a better understanding of how to choose an OB/GYN so you can build a great doctor/patient relationship. Here are her top 8 pieces of advice:
1. Find someone you trust. “Ultimately it comes down to trusting your physician and finding someone you can confide in. We deal with sensitive issues, so being able to discuss any health concern is important,” said Dr. Quinn.
2. Find someone you like. “When you are pregnant, we will be seeing a lot of you. During your pregnancy, you will visit every 4 weeks in the first and early second trimester, then every 2 weeks into the third trimester. For the last 4 weeks of pregnancy, we will see you each week,” said Dr. Quinn.
3. Meet the practice. “Look at the entire practice, because we are all involved in our patients’ care,” said Dr. Quinn. OB/GYN practices take turns on call, so if you go into labor or have an urgent need, you may be seeing someone else in the practice. “You may want to find a practice that will follow the same general philosophies in your care. For example, at our practice, Women’s Healthcare Affiliates, we are all trained under the same residency program. Because of this, we all have the same philosophy, values and goals as far as our patients go. Talking with any one of us is the same as talking with the rest. We also have midwifery services available. We work closely with them and co-manage for patients who want to go that route as well,” said Dr. Quinn.
4. Choose an OB/GYN early in the process. “Ideally, it’s important to visit even before you get pregnant so we can do preconception counseling, especially if you have risk factors (like asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, seizure disorder) going into pregnancy,” said Dr. Quinn. “Most patients call when they have a positive pregnancy test, and we get them in early to establish care in the first trimester so we can offer all the genetic screening options that are available.”
5. Consider your birthing options. “Each physician has a philosophy on various birthing options, like if you are interested in having a vaginal delivery after a C Section,” said Dr. Quinn. “Identifying what your OB/GYN and practice offer for route of delivery and delivery plans is important.”
6. Find out the on-call plan. “Discuss what the practice’s schedule is like so you know what happens when babies come at unexpected times. Find out the plan, how the call schedule works and who will be there to deliver the baby,” said Dr. Quinn. “At our practice, we try to make it to our own patients as often as we can, but it is good to know what happens if the doctor is not available.”
7. Consider the hospital. “The hospital a physician works with is important. Find out what resources are readily available—Do they have an anesthesiologist dedicated to labor and delivery, or is he or she shared in the hospital? Does the hospital offer in-house pediatricians or neonatologists to evaluate the baby after delivery if there are problems? What is the hospital policy on how many family members can be present at the birth? What is the visitor policy? Consider what matters to you about the hospital and ask these questions,” said Dr. Quinn.
8. Think about whole-life care. “We will see you for more than just your pregnancy,” said Dr. Quinn. OB/GYNs also focus on any abnormal bleeding (heavy or painful periods, pelvic pain, urinary incontinence), annual well woman exams (including breast exams and cervical cancer screenings) and more. “Typically, we recommend patients see us at 13-15 years old to establish care with an OB/GYN to discuss sexual health and to make sure young adolescents know where to come as they grow in their adolescent years. We continue screening for general health for as long as women want to come see us. It is a lifelong process,” said Dr. Quinn.
Best of luck to you in your selection process! Learn more about Dr. Quinn and Women’s Healthcare Affiliates.
Women’s Healthcare Affiliates
Mary Potter Physicians Pavilion
2850 W. 95th St., Suite 103
Evergreen Park, IL