A Pediatrician Story

With approval around the corner, its time to start lining up the normal infant care items that we need. Nursery is complete. Stroller and car seat are ready. Time to find a pediatrician.

This seems to be pretty important. My lack of medical knowledge, along with the fragility of children that age makes it real important to find a good one. What’s a good one? I’m not sure. So, when lacking knowledge, you turn to your friends and colleagues for advice, recommendations. We had a couple of docs recommended from a clinic just across the street from our medical office.

Ok, now what? Do we just choose one and go with it? Do we go “interview” doctors? How does that even go? Hey doc, I see you have a medical degree from that prestigious college, and you’ve got a number of years of experience, but I’ll only choose you if you answer my questions the way I like.

Well, we’re not going to say that, but we do want to have a doctor that understands our situation, and hopefully has experience. So, really, we do have to interview them. Maybe interview is the wrong term. Feel out? Get a sense of?

So I called yesterday to the front desk. Maybe they will lead me through the process.

I should preface this first. I stink on the phone. My brain stops working, I get flustered, and I end up like Ralphie talking to Santa in “A Christmas Story.” When I hang up, then I remember that it was in fact a Red Ryder BB Gun. If I have to tell someone my phone number, I have to write it out and essentially read it back. Steph is wonderful with me, she’ll whisper cliff notes to me when talking to someone so I don’t miss any details.

I made the call to the office from work. I had my notes in front of me, the office name, the phone number, and the two doctors recommended. I should have wrote down my questions. First I get the “Press 1 for blah” menu, had to listen all the way until 6. On hold music. Then I get a person. She’s polite, but rushed. “Can I help?” I explain our situation, that we are adopting (sometime), we had two doctors recommended, what do I need to do? Her answer is essentially this, after adoption, call us, we’ll get you an appointment within 1-5 days. Ok?

This is the point a normal brain should have stood up and said, No! I would like to talk to both of these doctors so that we can select the doctor that best fits our situation! I want to be a well informed parent! Instead, just like Santa recommended a football to Ralphie, and he nodded ok, I said “Ok”.

Adoption rule: Make sure to go into situations prepared for anything.

Fail. Now the nice part is that its easily fixed. I can call back (with questions ready), or I can ask my wonderful wife to make the call. No matter what, I have to do better.

Adoption rule: When in doubt, ask for help.

Ok parents, how did you find your peditrician? Was it a friend recommendation? Doctor recommendation? Googled? Did you speak with them beforehand? Did you see more than one? What did you ask them?


3 responses

  1. Okay, so this probably doesn’t help much but we used the pediatrician that was on-call when Little Man was born. Turns out, we like him…

    What I have heard is that if you don’t like a particular doctor (or the child doesn’t), it’s not overly difficult to change to someone else.

    But, you’d rather be prepared before you go in and I can understand that. So, I would call the office back and ask if you can make an “appointment” where you sit down and talk to the doc about what you want (or need, foresee, or whatever else). Make it quite clear that this isn’t an appointment where the doc tells you what’s wrong or gives shots. If they are unwilling to help you, ask to be transferred to the nurse and go that route. Just remember, the nurses do as much as the doctors…they give the shots. So, if you don’t like the nurse, you may have a problem, too.

  2. We interviewed our pediatrician. Actually, she was the only one at the office we went with (closest to our house) who would meet with us before we had Anya. So, we met with her and actually liked her. We had recommendations from people and her name was actually brought up several times. The office she works in has a bunch of doctors there so there’s always someone on call. So far, we’ve liked the office okay (even though none of the staff seem to be able to say her name correctly…how hard is it, seriously?).

  3. We selected a pediatrician from a practice we had heard good things about, that was near our house, and who had a degree from a school we thought was pretty good. We too felt uncomfortable interviewing the pediatrician beforehand, and decided that we would be fine with switching if for some reason we didn’t click with the guy. It has worked out well so far, thankfully!

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