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Pediatrician Interview Questions

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  1. How would you perform a cardiovascular exam on a child? See answer
  2. As a pediatrician, how would you help a child who is afraid of needles? See answer
  3. How would you resolve a conflict with the parent of a patient? See answer
  4. What methods would you use to reassure a pediatric patient who was anxious?
  5. What aspects of pediatrics are particularly exciting for you? Which age groups do you most enjoy working with at your practice?
  6. You cannot determine a diagnosis for a patient’s condition. What is your next move?
  7. Have you ever had to give a parent bad news about their child’s health? How did you approach the situation?
  8. What do you do to stay up-to-date on pediatric health trends in your local area?
  9. What’s the largest volume of pediatric patients you see on a given day?
  10. How would pediatric patients from your previous clinic describe you?
  11. Have you ever had to consult with a concerned parent over the phone after their child had an accident or experienced a high fever? What examples can you provide?
  12. What would you say is your greatest accomplishment as a pediatrician so far? What have you found the most challenging?
  13. What differences are there in the examination process for a newborn versus a toddler?
  14. The front desk staff accidentally double books your appointment schedule. How do you handle the situation?
  15. What made you decide to pursue pediatrics over another medical specialty?
  16. Another pediatrician in your practice has to take off work unexpectedly due to a personal matter. This means you’ll be absorbing a portion of their regular patients. What do you do to get to know your new patients and their health needs?
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6 Pediatrician Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

How would you perform a cardiovascular exam on a child?

A:

The cardiovascular exam is a routine part of nearly every visit to the pediatrician’s office. This question helps you understand more about the candidate’s basic knowledge of how this procedure should be performed, and you’ll also learn about their mannerisms and methods of working with patients. You’ll be able to determine whether this applicant has the necessary skills and attitude to succeed in your practice. What to look for in an answer:

  • In-depth knowledge of this routine procedure
  • Ability to work with and engage patient
  • Ability to keep patient calm and comfortable

Example:

“I would use an appropriately sized stethoscope, and I’d model the procedure on a doll first. I’d let the child touch the stethoscope before beginning.”

Q:

What methods would you use to help reassure a pediatric patient who was anxious?

A:

Pediatricians deal with anxious patients on a daily basis, and this question helps you understand whether the candidate will be able to handle these situations with ease. You’ll learn about their values and whether their values align with the values you expect in your practice. This question will help you assess whether the applicant would be someone whom local parents would choose as their child’s doctor. What to look for in an answer:

  • Appropriate and innovative tactics for gaining patient trust/cooperation
  • Evidence of a warm and compassionate demeanor
  • Ability to build patient rapport

Example:

“I’d explain to the child that I want to help him/her and go through every procedure/exam step in a kid-friendly way. I’d take the time to answer the child’s/parent’s questions.”

Q:

As a pediatrician, how would you help a child who is afraid of needles?

A:

Needles are used on a daily basis in medical practice, and they’re often one of the main reasons that kids fear going to the pediatrician’s office. This question helps you evaluate whether the candidate has up-to-date knowledge of various creams, sprays and other methods that can be used to reduce pain from needles. You’ll be able to decide whether their methods of handling needle procedures are appropriate. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of pain-relieving devices/creams/sprays for needle procedures
  • Willingness to use pain relief as needed
  • Ability to keep patient calm/comfortable

Example:

“If the child/parent requested it, I’d use pain-relieving sprays/creams/devices for the procedure. I’d give the patient as much control as possible during the procedure.”

Q:

What aspects of pediatrics are particularly exciting for you? Which age groups do you most enjoy in your practice?

A:

This question helps you understand more about the candidate’s particular specialisms and evaluate with which patients/ages they might be most successful with in your practice. For example, you may discover that they are particularly passionate about caring for teenagers or that they have lots of experience caring for infants and toddlers. This information will help you know if they would work well within your existing team. What to look for in an answer:

  • Evidence of passion/expertise with a specific age group
  • Evidence of suitable education/experience in pediatrics
  • Ability to work well as a team member

Example:

“I particularly enjoy working with teenagers. One of my favorite tasks as a pediatrician is performing physical exams for athletes on school sports teams.”

Q:

How would you resolve a conflict with the parent of a patient?

A:

This question will help you know whether the applicant understands how to successfully employ conflict resolution strategies. You’ll learn whether the candidate makes every effort to work with parents and families to come to a resolution or whether they simply dismiss troublesome patients/families. This question helps you indirectly assess whether they would be a hardworking, compassionate member of your practice and whether they would stay at the practice long term. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of effective conflict resolution strategies
  • Willingness to consider multiple viewpoints including the patient’s/parent’s views
  • Acceptance of culturally diverse patients/viewpoints

Example:

“I would try to understand the parent’s viewpoint and compassionately explain my position. I would not pressure/scare the parent into choosing procedures for his/her child.”

Q:

You cannot determine a diagnosis for a patient's condition. What is your next move?

A:

Pediatricians perform routine and emergency exams on pediatric patients to diagnose illnesses and injuries. They also perform exams to ensure their patients are growing and developing in a way that aligns with their age group. However, there may be situations where a patient's condition is beyond a pediatrician's medical expertise. This question allows interviewers to determine a candidate's ability to understand their professional limitations and refer patients to specialized doctors.

A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Understanding of their expertise
  • Frequent communication with local doctors
  • Prioritization of patient health and safety

Here is an example of a quality candidate answer:

Example:

"The first thing I would do is consult with a few other pediatricians at my workplace to gain their insights on the matter. If we still couldn't reach a conclusion, I would refer my patient to a healthcare specialist based on their current symptoms. If it seemed to be an emergency matter and the patient was in pain, I would suggest a visit to the ER and offer to call ahead for the parent."

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