Friday, July 30, 2010

Doctor Frustrations

Every time I find a pediatrician I really like, they tend to disappear. Well, not actually disappear -- but they move to different states, or change practices that aren't covered under our insurance, or switch to the opposite side of the valley.

I was very happy with our most recent pediatrician, but unfortunately he was traveling too far from home and found a job closer to his house.  I'm not up for traveling 150 miles round trip for a pediatrician (especially when I have 3 kids) so I didn't follow him.  The main pediatrician at our current practice I like, but she was booked months out for well-child visits this month.

So, we met the new pediatrician for Nate & Lydia's well check visits.  (Yes, they're months late.  But Nate was sick for his well-check in May and we've been busy.)  She was young, but I didn't hold that against her.  She asked the kids some questions, I shared with her about Nate's stutter and how he's receiving therapy, we talked about the allergy testing the previous pediatrician had ordered.

And then she began to annoy me.  She asked about school, and we shared that we had homeschooled, but this year the boys would be attending our local school.  She said "Oh, that's good.  You'll have friends now."  I jumped in and said "They have plenty of friends now.  They play a number of different sports, attend religious ed at our church and have made close friends with other homeschooled kids in our circle."  She just nodded and asked Nate if he was excited.  He said "No, I like learning at home." and her response? 

"Well, you'll have lunch and recess at school!!  That'll be great!"

Um, really? He didn't have lunch at home?  And the chance to play outdoors pretty much whenever he wanted to?  I think they have a 15 minute recess at the school they'll attend. 

I understand that homeschooling was probably foreign to her (although it shouldn't be, as I know a few of the families that go there are homeschoolers) but to tell a child who has been schooled at home for years that he should get excited about lunch? and recess? seemed ridiculous to me. 

I let it go, and we continued on with the appointment.  Where she told me Nate had to be in a booster seat until he was 80 lbs.  I said "Really? 80 lbs?? Is that a law?" And then she confessed she didn't really know. (FYI: It's not law in Arizona.  There is no weight restriction in Arizona, but kids under the age of 5 need to be in a car seat / booster.)  I said that he always wore a seat belt and sat in the back and we felt that was appropriate for an 8yo boy who weighed more than 60 lbs.

There was more . . . and she continued to irritate me with her lack of experience, knowledge and just plain annoying-ness.  (We talked about Nate's allergies, and how the tests revealed he has chronic rhinitis.  I told her that Benadryl and traditional allergy medications didn't help him at all, but a nasal spray the previous doctor prescribed did.  She then proceeded to tell me to give him Benadryl for his allergies.  That don't exist. And apparently didn't hear me say Benadryl didn't help him.)

I realized that I don't want a pediatrician who doesn't have children of their own and will do what I can to avoid making any future appointments with her.  I also want one that actually listens to what I say.

It got more annoying when I was told that Nate had not passed the eye exam.  I was surprised, as we had recently had him tested and he had perfect vision.  I know that vision can change quickly, though, so I planned to make an appointment for an eye check.

Until Nate told me how the nurse never let him finish his sentences.  She kept cutting him off and filled in words that he wasn't planning on saying. Instead of working with him and his stutter (which is documented in his record and also plainly obvious when you talk to him) she rushed through the exam and decided he couldn't see since he struggled with his speech. 

I have written to the pediatrician's office sharing my recent frustration, and have made Colin's appointment with the main pediatrician.  Part of me hopes that this new pediatrician moves on quickly, but I am also on the lookout again for a pediatrician I love.  I want a pediatrician that listens to me and my kids, that doesn't assume that we are idiots, and that dispenses good medical advice (not unasked-for parenting advice.)

What do you look for in a doctor? Do you think I expect too much?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:28 AM

    Oh MAN that would have burned me. Going through our medical crud on this end...I could go on a Dr smacking tangent.

    Have you ever seen Dr. Madrid in Chandler? He is REALLY good. We love it, the kids love him. He's Catholic! He goes to St. Anne's. If you want some more info FB me!


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