Thursday, December 2, 2010


I have seen my share of pediatricians. Five different offices to be exact. Some have been recommended to me by friends, other doctors, etc. Some I have left because I hated and one I got booted from when I had HMO (a long time ago because I pay extra for PPO and think its worth it) and some we changed because we moved. When Luke was a baby and I really hated mine, I asked my OB, "Okay, so where do you take YOUR kids?"

This morning I got back from taking my snotty nosed teething crabby baby to her 15 month 'Well' visit, those awesome doctors are on my mind. Cause the one I have now is gold. He even supported me giving her shots because her cold wouldn't interfere. Although I cannot completely detach myself from my Encino ones because he is amazing and super thorough and I'm too cheap to transfer all my kids records right now. So now we are straddling both, although Paisley exclusively sees the one up here.

Somehow though, the pediatrician appointment turns into my confessional where I babble about all the things they I have sucked at doing..."Yes, well we did take the pacifier away for three weeks, but she screamed in church so much we gave it back." "Oh see that burn on her hand, it is doing really good." which burn he probably wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't have pointed it out. I don't know why I do that and could make me look like a lunatic, which is why I love our current pediatrician. He even told me today that he agreed some moms are wimps when I was apologizing for being a mean mom and giving her shots when she was sick (cause if she is crying all the time anyway, lets just get these over with and save me another trip).

So in turn, just off the top of my head, here are the best things I think about a pediatrician and some of my major pet peeves. Really this is just to take a few more minutes and delay pending housework and cause Paisley is sleeping (cause she didn't sleep at all last nite! Nor did we!).

Pet Peeves.

1. When they defer to me. One pediatrician had no kids, pretty new, and immediately when he found out I how many kids I had completely deferred to me like I knew more than him. Now granted I probably had more at home experience, but pull it together man and act like you just went to school for a million years and learned something! What a waste of time.

2. When you take my baby away. One doctor when we were discussing if Paisley had RSV (very serious issue here!) or not...quickly walked out of the room with her to ooh and awww with the other staff about my beautiful baby. Without my permission. Which of course she cried (cause she was sick you dummy!). I don't care how much you like babies, don't take mine out of the room without asking me.

3. Too lax. "Yes, she looks good." seeing her from across the room. This one is tricky cause my new doctor is pretty dang lax which a drawback for me, but I still like him.

4. Cattle call office. Too many people, too long of wait, do you even know who I am? Doctor with lacking social skills. All bad for us.

5. Too opinionated about not really medical things. "Juice is like child beer." Really? Do they get hang overs? Does it affect their liver? I know juice might not be healthy, but really beer? "How often are you cutting their finger nails?" (this was asked as when Luke was like 2 months old). "Pacifiers are the devil." First of all if you think pacifiers are for the devil for an infant, we aren't going to see eye to eye anyway. Okay, he didn't really say the devil, but whatever. Mothers don't need more guilt off so back off dude.

Favorite Things.

1. When they talk to my newborn, or infant like a real person. Use their name and tell them what they are going to do before they do it. Love that.

2. When they are thorough. My favorite doctor in Encino asked me every single time for years if we were still using proper seat belts and if there was a gun or smoking in the home. He monitored how much milk, food, etc. I also like to reminded about when to introduce foods cause trends change and my brain forgets. You can never be thorough enough for me.

3. Nurses who know how to give shots. The nurses are just as important in my opinion cause they give the shots which is the worst part (although I have never cried or had to leave the room when my kids had shots ever, I'm not that woman). Once I had a nurse poke Luke wrong as a baby and she had to do it again! What! You only get one chance! So get it right. I used to think the problem was young staff, and much preferred nurses who had worked for a decade or two, but my current office is very young and the first time I haven't had a kid cry at a shot was there. Strange and wonderful. The office I'm at now even lets you hold your baby in your lap while they give shots in the leg...maybe why she didn't cry so much?

4. If the doctor is a parent or a grandparent. I already said this before sort of but really it makes a big difference. Funny thing is I just thought of one woman doctor who wasn't who I really liked, but she was great with kids. See, everything can be contradicted. Obviously being up on new research and great knowledge of current issues like mercury in shots, or flu stuff is required without saying it, but I just did anyway.

5. When they compound shots. The Encino office, for a baby, combined shots so you only had to have 2 or 3 as an infant per time, but when I first moved out here, they were all separate (like in separate syringes) so they wanted to poke Paisley five times! Now that is just cruel. Especially when you know not all offices do it like that. Most places if that happens will let you spread them apart over a few weeks or month but extra trips is one of my least favorite things. Cause I'm busy.

6. Okay, and obviously I love when they tell me how cute and wonderful and smart my kids are. And what a good job I'm doing. Heck, I know its just a little smoozing, but we could use a build up instead of the alternative.

Okay, thats it. Don't know why I felt like getting on a soapbox today. But the relationship with a pediatrician can be very good or very horrible depending. Sometimes you don't have a lot of choices, but sure wished I knew what I was looking for sooner, cause its like $25 per child to transfer records each time.


No Longer Newlyweds. said...

I loved this post. I have strong feelings about pediatricians. I ended up staying with mine because the customer service in the lobby improved. Maybe others threatened to leave too? Who knows.
One thing that bothers me is that pediatricians are pretty much the gatekeepers to all other doctors. It's annoying how we have to get a referral to a specialist every time we have a concern. We've been to a cranial technologist, an eye specialist, an ENT and now a dermatologist. That's $80 for my doctor to tell me to go somewhere else.

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Heather said...

I don't think doctors around here have started charging to transfer records. If you need a copy of your records for insurance, etc. they will charge, but not to send them to another doctor.

Lyndsay said...

Great post! I had the most hellacious pediatrician in Mesa. It all resulted in Finn having to have emergency surgery. It's a long awful story. But since then I am a CRAZY person about pediatricians. I am already on my third in Burbank (after moving here a year and a half ago). I am finally happy! And famous people go to the same doctor. That's always waiting room fun, right there. :)

Nancy Jo said...

I think all pediatricians should read your post!

Laura said...

i love this topic. i have said this before, (and i really like my pediatrician), but i hate feeling interrogated about what my kids are eating and drinking (and how much tv they are watching). i have resorted to lying because i can't take the look of disgust when i say that chicken nuggets are a regular part of my kids' diet. and when chase was 18 months my pediatrician at the time asked if i had started potty training HA! it was then i knew he had no kids and i later switched pediatricians.

Lindsey said...

I agree with all your peeves and likes. Well told. So glad you found a good one. Hope Paisley feels better!!

sara said...

I should probably start asking around now for a great pediatrician in the South Bay. I didn't realize that it can be so tough to find someone that you like. Thanks for the heads up!!