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!).
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.
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.