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Old 08-11-2010, 06:33 PM   #1
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how to get off the "well-child" radar

I have told our pediatrician that we do not do annual well-child examinations. We are prompt to take the kids in when there is a need, but we have opted out of well-child exams for the past few years, partly because they really push vaccinations at the exams. Partly because I don't need to hear their speeches on car seat safety when we are MORE meticulous than they are. We are raising kids #4-6...I think we know how to do it by now.

Every single time we encounter healthcare at the pediatrician's office they try to sneak in the need for the annual exam. My son had labs, and we need an appointment "to go over the labs and do a physical". I had to ask if he actually NEEDS the physical for the lab abnormality or is this the annual physical, to which I'm told that he is overdue for his physical. He actually only needed a visit to go over the lab results.

I get reminder cards that my child(ren) is(are) overdue for the physical and, by the way, we can do the vaccinations at the same time FOR CONVENIENCE. Every time I have to call the office about anything they have to come up with a reason to have the kids seen for these appointments, and the majority of them are bull.

They act like I just don't remember, am too busy to be bothered, or am ignorant. I am none of the above. I choose not to do well-child exams. Since when is this a problem? I assure you that their health is not neglected and we are very prompt with visits when necessary.

This is a choice, not a neglect of their healthcare.

So how do I politely but firmly tell them AGAIN that we choose not to do these and, should we choose otherwise, we will let them know?
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:36 PM   #2
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Re: how to get off the "well-child" radar

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I have told our pediatrician that we do not do annual well-child examinations. We are prompt to take the kids in when there is a need, but we have opted out of well-child exams for the past few years, partly because they really push vaccinations at the exams. Partly because I don't need to hear their speeches on car seat safety when we are MORE meticulous than they are. We are raising kids #4-6...I think we know how to do it by now.

Every single time we encounter healthcare at the pediatrician's office they try to sneak in the need for the annual exam. My son had labs, and we need an appointment "to go over the labs and do a physical". I had to ask if he actually NEEDS the physical for the lab abnormality or is this the annual physical, to which I'm told that he is overdue for his physical. He actually only needed a visit to go over the lab results.

I get reminder cards that my child(ren) is(are) overdue for the physical and, by the way, we can do the vaccinations at the same time FOR CONVENIENCE. Every time I have to call the office about anything they have to come up with a reason to have the kids seen for these appointments, and the majority of them are bull.

They act like I just don't remember, am too busy to be bothered, or am ignorant. I am none of the above. I choose not to do well-child exams. Since when is this a problem? I assure you that their health is not neglected and we are very prompt with visits when necessary.

This is a choice, not a neglect of their healthcare.

So how do I politely but firmly tell them AGAIN that we choose not to do these and, should we choose otherwise, we will let them know?
Find another office that is willing to respect your parenting choices?
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:37 PM   #3
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Re: how to get off the "well-child" radar

I don't know but I hear all of these bad things about all these doctors. I am just glad I love my doctor. We do all of our visits and am glad to do so but we never get anything about being over due or anything of the sort. Also my ped is not pushy or anything he usually just says they look great and that is that. We do vaccinate but my ped is pretty open with delayed vac etc, I think because he is very young maybe that helps. He also encourages rear facing until at least 2 so I think that is great. IDK I would really just say find a different doctor who is more in line with how you think.
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:25 PM   #4
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Re: how to get off the "well-child" radar

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I don't know but I hear all of these bad things about all these doctors. I am just glad I love my doctor. We do all of our visits and am glad to do so but we never get anything about being over due or anything of the sort. Also my ped is not pushy or anything he usually just says they look great and that is that. We do vaccinate but my ped is pretty open with delayed vac etc, I think because he is very young maybe that helps.
I've had a similar experience with my pediatrician. He is super great about delayed vaxing or altered schedules, which DH and I are more comfortable with than completely avoiding immunizations. He was thrilled to see that we are anti-circ. and opted out of the hep B vax for DD at birth and actually told us several times how great that was. We've been late a couple times scheduling appointments and he hasn't sent anything out about it. I bet you could find a dr. who is much more understanding and respectful.
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:49 AM   #5
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Re: how to get off the "well-child" radar

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I don't know but I hear all of these bad things about all these doctors. I am just glad I love my doctor. We do all of our visits and am glad to do so but we never get anything about being over due or anything of the sort. Also my ped is not pushy or anything he usually just says they look great and that is that. We do vaccinate but my ped is pretty open with delayed vac etc, I think because he is very young maybe that helps. He also encourages rear facing until at least 2 so I think that is great. IDK I would really just say find a different doctor who is more in line with how you think.
Yep. Different office.
At my DD's 6 month "check-up" (she's my first baby, I took her in at 6 weeks and 6 months and probably will again at 1 year) her doctor asked "Do you want to discuss getting any vaccines today?" I said no. He said "okay, keep up the good work. Your baby is healthy and happy!"
I had this big speech all worked up in my defense and I didn't even get to use it
There are doctors out there who respect a parent-led approach to you kids' health... you just have to find them.

ETA: Just went back and read more responses so wanted to add...
Our ped is great but I still received a "reminder" phone call when it would have been time to schedule DD's next appointment. The number was not from the ped's office so I think they farm it out... Maybe yours does too?
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:37 PM   #6
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:55 PM   #7
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Re: how to get off the "well-child" radar

This happened to us regarding vaccines and was with our insurance company. we do all well-child visits. It was a computer thing, they just removed us from that part of the system, and explained that they hoped it worked because no one ever asked before.
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:10 PM   #8
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Re: how to get off the "well-child" radar

I love the doctor, but it is the office that is the problem. The one year when I dared to say we were still deciding what we were doing with vaccinations, the nurse literally ordered me to do them. I found out the next year that there was a competition between the different locations of this practice to see who get get the most vaccinations administered. I found this out because they won a TROPHY that was proudly displayed at the front desk, and it also stated the time frame that the competition was going on; same time that the nurse ordered me to do the vaccinations. (She didn't recommend, she just barked out the order). To me that is simply wrong. It is one thing to try to upsell soft drinks at a fast food restaurant, but trying to upsell vaccinations for a trophy?

I'm fine with clinical recommendations, but I simply do not like the manipulation I'm seeing and see these competitions as clouding the quality of care we are receiving. I really love this doctor, but their office staff needs to back off. I hate to have to leave her though.
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:23 PM   #9
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Re: how to get off the "well-child" radar

have you talked to the dr?
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:37 PM   #10
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Re: how to get off the "well-child" radar

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have you talked to the dr?
It is a large practice, so we don't always get in to see her. I work during the day, so my husband took my son to the last appointment. The next appointment is with her at the end of the month, and I will take him so I can talk to her then.

I really don't want to change away from this doctor because she "gets" my son, who is very high end on the ASD spectrum. She actually thinks he is pretty cool. We think very much alike. When I would tell her stories of some of the things that he would do, she could finish my sentences because she really UNDERSTOOD him and how his mind worked. It was AWESOME and a rare jewel to find her.

For the most part everything is good, but the hounding about the well-child visits, the frequent vax reminders, and the vax upselling trophy things are getting to become the norm.

Honestly, it is like they are under new management. They also started using an outside service to give normal test results. You get an automated call telling you to call the number to get the test results and to be sure to have your child's chart number when you call. Problem is that they haven't given you the child's chart number at the office visit. This happened three separate times at three separate visits at two different locations with two different kids; so this is a system-wide problem. When I notified the nurse that you cannot retrieve test results when you don't have your children's chart number, she seemed surprised that I was not given it.

It is really a clearly a management issue that needs to be addressed, but it is causing clinical problems.
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