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Old 07-03-2012, 02:10 PM   #31
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Re: Would it make a difference to you? (picking a pediatrician)

I didn't read all of the other comments yet (I will go back in a few mins), but I used to work at a peds practice, and I can tell you that if a doctor informs you up front that she is THAT busy, that is not a good sign.
Everyone is talking about the vax issue, but it is really only a small part of what peds do. If she has already told you that she schedules well visits a month out, then IME, she is too busy to be taking new patients. What she isn't telling you is that during high-volume time for physicals (spring and fall, and sometimes over winter break), if you are firm on seeing only your doc for well visits, you will need to schedule 8-10 weeks out (sometimes more). Heaven help you if you have to reschedule. Also, the kind of doctor you describe is far more likely to expect you to simply follow her instructions without question. Be prepared for a lecture if your instincts ever prompt you to do anything other than what she advises. This does not just apply to vaccines, but to all of the issues that come up in the process of parenting.

I have worked for doctors like what you describe, and when DS was an infant, this is the kind of doctor we had. Greats credentials, very popular, very strict with their policies, and very inflexible. They always, always went with the mainstream ideas on everything (didn't usually have/take the time to look deeper), and often seemed to be operating under the assumption that parents are uninformed. If I had left it up their busy schedule and inflexible attitude, DS' sleep issues (later diagnosed @ Vanderbilt) would have gone completely undiagnosed. Like, ever.
I'd look for another doctor who can give you great care AND a great attitude. They are out there. We have a fantastic ped now, who doesn't beat around the bush, but is also kind to me and the children, and demonstrates respect for my instincts.

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Old 07-03-2012, 02:33 PM   #32
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Re: Would it make a difference to you? (picking a pediatrician)

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Originally Posted by kaia.aline View Post
Interviewed a pediatrician yesterday and I'm not sure if the cons outweigh all the pros or I should just deal with the cons because of all the good.

Pro-


Very pro breastfeeding and has a LC on staff if I need one after I leave the hospital

Leaves 5 appointments open everyday for sick babies so there is a good chance I can get a same day appt even though she is so booked
This sounds good, but in actuality, this is not as many as you may think. A better question to ask is "How closely together do you schedule appointment slots, and how many appointments do you schedule per slot?" For instance, the peds I worked for in New England scheduled visits about 10-15min apart. However, they would schedule THREE sick patients for each slot. So patients would literally only have 5min allotted with the doctor. Thus, saying they had 5 extra appointments in an 8hr day would mean basically nothing. And if a doctor got behind even a little, wait time extended exponentially. I'm not saying your potential doc was trying to be misleading, but you might get a more thorough answer if you refine the question a little.
I know it is tough. I think it isn't a bad thing to start with this doc, and if you end up having to find another one, so be it. Just know what you're getting in to.
Good luck, mama!


Edit - I also wanted to add that another good question to ask is "How often is MY doctor in the office?" Sometimes the head doctor, or the ones who have been around the longest, can afford to only work two or three days a week. If your doc only has 10-15 unscheduled sick visits available in any given week, you may end up seeing the other docs in the practice more often than you see her, so it may be worth it to look at other practices anyway.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:39 PM   #33
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Re: Would it make a difference to you? (picking a pediatrician)

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Originally Posted by TooBusyBearcubs View Post
Also, the kind of doctor you describe is far more likely to expect you to simply follow her instructions without question. Be prepared for a lecture if your instincts ever prompt you to do anything other than what she advises. This does not just apply to vaccines, but to all of the issues that come up in the process of parenting.

I have worked for doctors like what you describe, and when DS was an infant, this is the kind of doctor we had. Greats credentials, very popular, very strict with their policies, and very inflexible. They always, always went with the mainstream ideas on everything (didn't usually have/take the time to look deeper), and often seemed to be operating under the assumption that parents are uninformed.
Exactly my feelings. Even if you do vax on schedule, what else will this doctor be rigid about? I'd look elsewhere.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:57 PM   #34
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Re: Would it make a difference to you? (picking a pediatrician)

Maybe I missed this, but are there any other peds in the same practice that might be a better fit?

Was she having a bad day when you interviewed her and seemed blunt and busy because she had better things to do than interview prospective patients? Maybe she's totally different with kids?

If you are expecting your baby to have health concerns and this is the easiest and best way to get the care and referrals you need, then you should see her.

If I had to decide, I'd look elsewhere based solely on a first impression. I think a ped should be soft-spoken and gentle and not "rushed" or self-described as "busy" (which reads kinda like too busy to deal with unimportant crap brought in by neurotic first time parents - not that you are), mainly because kids pick up on that kind of stuff and they won't be comfortable with that dr. I think they should be willing to talk for a reasonable length of time about any and all concerns and even if they think my ideas are bat crap crazy to still talk to me professionally and in a way that doesn't make me feel dumb.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:05 PM   #35
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Re: Would it make a difference to you? (picking a pediatrician)

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The no delayed vaxing would be a dealbreaker for me even if I fully vaxed on schedule. I think when drs. have a very close minded approach to vaxing, it also may lead to other treatments. I would want a dr that cares and trusts that parents are capable of making decisions for their children.

I agree with this. My favorite thing about our ped is she asks me if I'm ok with something before she does it (even something small like checking iron levels) and she sits down and talks to me about treatments, allows me to ask questions and if I disagree with her plan of treatment she is fine with it. I think someone who wants to force a vaccine schedule would tend to get kind of huffy about a parent questioning anything.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:09 PM   #36
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Re: Would it make a difference to you? (picking a pediatrician)

What would concern me is the "blunt and very busy" part. There have been plenty of times during our well checks where I have needed to talk to the doc about some concerns I was having. It was so nice because I never felt hurried, or like the doc thought I was wasting her time. All of the peds at my practice that I have encountered have been patient and kind and have taken the time to really listen to me. For me, that is worth the 3-4 month lead time in scheduling a well visit (although I have never not gotten a same day appointment when I have needed one.)
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:13 PM   #37
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Re: Would it make a difference to you? (picking a pediatrician)

I don't take my kids to the pediatrician to have my hands held and have the warm fuzzies. If I need that, I go to my DH, my girlfriends or my mom. What I want from a pediatrian is expertise and also convenience. It is important to me that, if I have a sick child, I don't have to run them all over the area to get to the doctor. We are very fortunate that we have always been able to get in same day with our pediatrician's office - yes, we may not be able to see our main pediatrician for same day sick visits, but his partners are excellent as well. Having to schedule well visits a couple of months out is no big deal. It means to me that our pediatrican is scheduling long enough appointments and there are fewer sick appointments in those timeframes.

Personally, the pros are much more important to me than the cons. Once your LO is older, then you can figure out whether or not the doctor's personality will work for him or her.

We had an ENT who had horrible mom bedside manners. He is a good 20 years older than me, but called me ma'am in ever sentence and he just had no personality. But, you know what - he was very different with the kids. Gentle, age appropriate and incredible qualified. He was extremely busy, but took all the time I needed to explain what was going on - took out models and anatomical posters for both me and the kids. He was so busy he wasn't even taking on new patients - we had an in and were able to get in, but we never had an issue with being pushed. But, I can see that I might have felt that way if I needed to have him hold my hand or give me the feel goods.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:15 PM   #38
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Re: Would it make a difference to you? (picking a pediatrician)

I am ok with my kids specialists being blunt and and less personable. I prefer my kids ped to have a better personality. Based on your list though, your pro's would outweigh the con's for me.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:48 PM   #39
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Re: Would it make a difference to you? (picking a pediatrician)

I delay vaxes so that would be a big deal to me. I also don't want a rigid doctor even if the vax thing was not an issue. I do a delayed schedule and my pediatrician suggests the schedule as is but he respects a parents decisions. There are a lot of things that come up that have nothing to with vaxes where I don't want a doctor that is very rigid. I don't want to have a confrontation or defend my position. It is also important to me to have my kid's main doctor to be really laid back and friendly. It makes a big difference with the kids to have a pediatrician that is good with them. I want the kids to not dread going to the doctor. I do also want good hours and to be able to get my child in if they are sick. My pediatrician is in a practice. If he can't see them when they are sick another doctor can and I like most of the others doctors in the practice.

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Old 07-03-2012, 05:10 PM   #40
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You know, in the beginning you're more likely to be tapping the lactation consultant and seeing a nurse (maybe the same person) getting weight checks. The ped is not a huge concern in the beginning imo.
As for advice, you don't have to give Vitamin D supplements and you don't have to discuss that with her, for example. Cosleeping isn't a medical issue and your instincts will be stronger than you realize.

There are big benefits to being close, hospital visitation, lactation consultant. If you'll be vaxing. You can always skip out later once things settle down.

FTR, I availed myself of a ped office that had a lactation consultant even though I thought the gigantic UFO sized chandelier and fireplace in the waiting room were pretentious and I didn't like any of the peds. I left when I didn't need a lactation consultant anymore. It was fine, although I did have to pay $30 for her records fyi.
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