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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pediatrician Problems

I've been very blessed to have a wonderful pediatrician. However, I've known many people who haven't been nearly as lucky as I have. They find that their pediatrician isn't quite what they were looking for, yet they feel bad about seeking out a new doctor. There's some sense of loyalty when dealing with doctors.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are unhappy with the performance of your child's doctor, then there are a few things you can do to fix the situation.

First, you should discuss the issues you are having with your doctor to try to come to an understanding. (Unless the issues are extreme, talking about it first is the best thing you can do. Of course, there are times when talking to the doctor is pointless, particularly if you have a serious difference of opinion on key issues such as vaccination.)

If you talk to your doctor about the problems you are having, and you're unable to come to an understanding, then you need to consider finding a new doctor. So many new parents feel badly about looking for a new doctor, especially if they've been with their pediatrician for a few months.

If you do decide to switch doctors, you may want to notify your pediatrician that you are leaving and why. It isn't necessary to notify your pediatrician, but if you decide to give him a reason then be sure to keep it professional. Written notification may be the easiest way to let your doctor know why you've decide to go to a different doctor. You can easily detail the issues that have led you to switch doctors and avoid any kind of confrontation.

One last thought - If you think your doctor has given you an incorrect diagnosis, it is absolutely acceptable to seek out a second opinion. It isn't disloyal or rude. It's responsible parenting.


Lin said...

This is a tough issue and I just went through it. Fortunately, my kids were old enough to move on from a pediatrician to a GP.

We had a great doctor for 16 years and then he sold the practice to a new young doctor. The new guy was clueless about kids--his newborn daughter was less than 4 months old. He asked my 16 year old if I bought him a car for his birthday (?!) and then when I told him no that I saw too many kids cracking up cars--he replied that crashing the car was normal and everyone does it. WHAT?!! All this in front of my kid. He was basically telling him it was okay to crash the car!!!

He also went on and on about promiscuity and Guardasil, telling me that I needed "to get with it--girls sleep around" in front of my 13 year old daughter! She was so embarrassed, I was mortified and he was CLUELESS.

Uh, needless to say, I think his views will change when his kids actually live a life and do something other than sleep. We switched doctors PRONTO.

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Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Yes, it is the right of every patient to switch doctors if they are not satisfied with their performance especially when it comes to handling the health care of our children. There must always be a modicum of trust and confidence between the doctor and patient. Of course it is very respectful to inform our doctor that we are switching doctors and provide the particulars for our decision. Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

Petula said...

The pediatrician I have was recommended, but when I first started taking my children there we kind of "butt heads." I am assuming she realized that she was having that problem with other patients because the PAs and other doctors she has brought into her practice have much better interaction and set of skills. I love her practice and really like her, but I would much rather see one of the other doctors or the PA when I take my children.

And, you're right, always seek a second opinion if you think the doctor is wrong or if anything seems amiss.