Following doctors "orders"

Jackie - posted on 03/11/2010 ( 36 moms have responded )

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So I have seen more than one post in more than one conversation people saying things like "well if you don't agree with your doctor do something else"...worded many different ways of course, but basically saying it's just a suggestion. Does everyone feel that way???

I don't know, in my opinion he is my (daughters) doctor for a reason...b/c he's the professional and he has educated specifically in what he's telling me to do. If you aren't going to trust a professional why do you go to them? I just certainly can't justify doing exactly the opposite of what the professional is telling me to do - I would never pretend to act like I knew more than him - curious what everyone else thinks?

And, on the flip side, how do you feel about pediatricians who support recommendations that go against all of the professional guidance?? While you may chose to do whatever you want with your children and thats your choice, I do have a problem with the professionals (i.e. pediatricians) supporting those choices even though they know it goes against what is suggested (by the AAP or whoever) b/c it's basically b/c its the easy way out to let them not have to deliver the tough message a parent may not want to hear. I don't know...very interested in reading the responses, I guess I'll leave it at that.

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[deleted account]

Quoting Dana: What about everyone else in Canada? Did ur children see a certified pediatrician?



My son saw a ped. for the first year of his life due to prematurity. He wasn't sick but he was being closely watched to make sure he was developing okay. I have a friend who takes her children to a ped. and they are perfectly healthy kids. It may depend on where you're at if you can get a ped. or not.

Alison - posted on 03/12/2010

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Jackie, this is another topic, but I have to disagree with the idea that a doctor should not support patient's decisions that go against his instruction (i.e. breastfeeding). My mother was pressured by doctors to bottle feed her first three children even though she was looking for advice on how to make breastfeeding work! I believe a good doctor supports their patients in their decisions, whether they continue to smoke at home or not vaccinate their children. Medicine should not be a dictatorship.

Amanda - posted on 03/12/2010

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That is my point Jackie, if every child was allowed to go to a Ped's for every comman cold, needle, and other stuff a family doctor can deal with, there would be long waits for a Ped's. Canada has way less doctors then many other countries therefore speicalists should be left just for that special cases.

Alison - posted on 03/12/2010

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For the most part, the doctors I have encountered have been trustworthy and given good advice. I agree with the concept that we should listen to the specialist, but I also consider it is my responsibility to get informed about the decisions I make.

For example, I hear of so many women who undergo inductions and c-sections because their doctor orders it, but another doctor could have encouraged them to wait. When I am in the delivery room, my body is my own and I will absolutely listen to my doctor, but he will not make the decisions for me. I make the decision to heed the advice or not.

wrt the whole vaccination campaign, I have found that today's going overboard in questioning doctors' reccomendations. My husband and I looked into it, read about it, asked friends about it and ultimately saw the the vast majority of the medical community was in agreement with the swine flu vaccine, and it was our responsibility as citizens to follow suit.

So I guess I am half and half.

Amanda - posted on 03/12/2010

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That is not a negative to the Canadian healthcare system. Peds are for sick children, not healthy children. Therefore a mother with a very ill child does not have to wait weeks to see a Ped because 1000s of healthy children are also seeing that Ped. Its actually what makes our healthcare system work, and work well. I know a few very ill children who see a ped every week to two weeks, and thank god my healthy children are not taking up their appointments.

As for following doctors advice, if you arent sure ask for a second opinion. Like one mother a walk in clinic also told me to stop breastfeeding due to infection, thank god I was educated enough 11 years ago to know that was the wrong advice.

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[deleted account]

Awww.....good for you Kylie! How's ur son today? How old is he? I agree, doctors are just human and humans make mistakes, humans can be wrong and humans NEED to admitt that they're not always right......I'm lucky to have a doctor that respects my opinions and is willing to do her homework or help me do mine before we firmly decide on anything!

Kylie - posted on 03/16/2010

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My son was born 13 weeks early and was in hosptial 10 rather long weeks. We saw about 20 doctors in that time, and I soon learnt that doctors practice is based so much on experience, and often opinions would vary very widely.

One day a doctor wanted to do a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) in my 4 week old 2lb baby. I was so cross, I only found out because I overheard him talking to a consultant. It turned out he thought Joseph was having seizures. I thought it was concious movement as he was trying to move his bowels, it didn't look like a seizure to me.

I challenged him, we talked it out, and he agreed to hold off. Joseph did his first poo at 4 weeks old two days later, and the "seizures" stopped.

Any doctor worth their salt will be prepared to listen and discuss alternatives.

Heather - posted on 03/13/2010

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I feel that if you are taking your child to a Dr. because of an illness, why wouldnt you take the Dr.'s advise....isnt that reason you take your child to the Dr.? Sure there are some things that dont need immediate medical attention and can be treated at home, or let run its course. There are some things that if you dont decide to follow the Dr.'s instructions, it could due serious harm. I certainly dont think that Dr.'s orders are just suggestions, nor should they be just blindly followed...if it dosent seem right, investigate and get a second opinion. It is important to have a Dr. with a good reputation, and one that you can trust.

[deleted account]

I think the key is finding a pediatrician that fits your personality and parenting/medical philosophies. I hate medication and my ped doesn't prescribe it unless needed. I wouldn't do well with a ped that gave antibiotics for every cough or runny nose. Or one that was overly concerned with weight gain and was too quick to recommend supplementing with formula.

Other moms I know are comforted when they bring their baby to their ped for every runny nose and get a prescription for antibiotics. One friend thinks I'm crazy when I don't run to the doc for every little problem. I would rather let my daughter's body fight the infection and allow her immune system to grow stronger. My ped agrees. I will say though, I do call my ped just to be sure that I don't need to bring my daughter in.

[deleted account]

Thanks Wanda! I do wish we had the option BUT I'm sure if there was a problem with my daughter or I specifically requested to see a pediatrician about my concerns that our GP would probably give me a referal, no questions asked! Glad to hear ur son's doing well!

[deleted account]

Dana, we're in Ontario. I think it also depends on where in Ontario you are if you can get a ped. In our town, a heathly child can't get a ped without a referal but the friend I mentioned takes her kids to a ped a couple of towns over. I'm not sure how that works. Althought my son no longer sees a ped on a regular basis, we can take him back to the one he saw for the first year if we feel there's a need. He belongs to the preemie follow-up clinic from the hospital he ws born at which means we have access to all the doctors associated with the clinic (ped, nutritionist, OT, PT etc.) up until he's 6 , that's above and beyond his yearly visits to check his progress.

Melissa - posted on 03/12/2010

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I think all dr's are different. They all believe different things and they suggest different things. Ex. My dr. will not give us feeding advice because he doesn't think that anyone really knows enough about infant feeding. He said all countries do different things and no one has been proven wrong or right. Ex. Some people have gone to see their pediatrician who told them their child was or wasn't sick, when they take them to a different dr. they are told the opposite.

I think dr's are there for suggestions and guidance, to an extent. I think maternal instincts will either agree or disagree with a dr's opinion. And I have had personal experiences that have pointed me in the direction of a different dr, who gave me different feed back.

All dr's are different, as are all mothers. You need to find the dr that is the right fit for your parenting style and your child's needs.

Johnny - posted on 03/12/2010

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I find my family practice doctor to be highly knowledgeable about pediatric health issues. He sees dozens of kids every week and they are a regular part of his practice. He may not know much about being a parent, but he knows what he is doing when it comes to medical concerns. I've never had an issue with not seeing a pediatrician. I also like that my doctor sees my whole family, me, my daughter, my hubby, and even my dad. He has a good idea of our family histories and medical issues. When he sees that my daughter is off the charts on height and average for weight, he doesn't panic like some do, he just says, "she's sure built like her daddy." I like that he knows us that well. I agree with Amanda about pediatricians, I know if my daughter had a serious health concern that my family doctor would refer us immediately to a pedi and that we'd be able to get in right away.

Jackie - posted on 03/12/2010

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Well I can speak from experience I don't wait at all to see my pediatrician. I can call them at 9am adn they see my daughter at 10am if she has an unexpected illness....theres no reason why you would wait for weeks, and I don't feel as though I am taking away anyone else's time either.

Amy - posted on 03/12/2010

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Well, as far as education..I know not to retract my son's foreskin. my doctor did not. i had to stop him. Not all doctors know everything and not many are trained in natural remedies. They are pretty quick to prescribe drugs because they do get money from companies for it and because people coming in want the quick fix. i'm the bad one who keeps saying that you HIRED them. they aren't beat all end all because sometimes mom knows best. five different doctors told my mom to shut up and stop whining that she just had a UTI. come to find out she had an ectopic pregnancy that could have killed her. i'm glad she trusted her gut and kept searching. for myself i found a lump and went to a doc to check it out. they just wanted to take it out. about the size of an almond. what is it? i ask. we'll find out when we take it out. what?? they knew it wasn't cancer. i researched. too much caffeine and also a bit of clogged duct from my first pregnancy. fixed it myself in a couple months. i did not have money for that. he gave no other options and was like "this is what we are going to do.." i asked if there was anything else and he was like, no. just take it out. ugh. when i was in the hospital with son, they said they were going to put pitocin in my iv to help shrink my uterus - i said, oh hell no you aren't. i'm nursing and my uterus will shrink just fine on its own thank you much!! they just seem to TELL you what to do instead of present the problem and a list of solutions. don't get me wrong, some doctors are stellar and their wisdom can save us. but as in anything in life. take what they say, do some research yourself and come to a conclusion together that is best.

[deleted account]

Exactly! I wish we could see a pediatrician........maybe that's one of the negatives of Canada's health care system? Money, no money.......doesn't matter! I don't get the choice to see a specialist unless a GP deems fit! When my daughter was born she was in the NICU for a week because I had an emergency c-section and there were complications.......anyhow, while she was in the NICU she obviously saw a pediatrician as well as our regular doctor at the time ( which is a different GP than we have now because we've moved recently ).....my daughter was consider the pediatrician's patient while we were in the hospital but after we left the hospital I took her for one follow-up visit at a month and then was instructed that I would have to see our GP thereafter......thank goodness everything was fine with my daughter though! I asked him if he would continue seeing her until she was at least a toddler and he just replied, " I'm sorry, I wish I could but that's not how it works.......ur doctor will do a fine job! "

Anyhow, that's just my experience! What about everyone else in Canada? Did ur children see a certified pediatrician?

Jackie - posted on 03/12/2010

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Wow Dana...that seems wierd to me that you need a referral to see a pedi. I totally agree that GP's are not totally up to date on the pedi issues. In the US you can choose a GP for your baby if you want, but you can also chose a pedi to be your childs GP....and I chose a pedi b/c they are constantly doing nothing but little ones...so they are def. more in the loop and have seen more and have more experience. In the US many GP's haven't treated an infant in YEARS....so as far as in the US I can totally understand why ppl are getting mixed signals from GP's. But when I say professional I am referring specifically to pediatricians. I don't think of a doctor as an expert on children when they rarely treat them.

[deleted account]

Here's my take on it! Just because they're a ' professional ' doesn't mean they have all the answers.......depending on what professional you ask; you may get a different answer or opinion.....they're just people too! My daughter's doctor recently told me soy milk was the BEST alternative to whole cow's milk but I had some concerns........I specifically asked her if goat's milk would be adequate? She told me absolutely NOT! I expressed my concerns to her and asked her why she didn't recommend goat's milk and she couldn't give me an affective answer.........she's not a dietician and she's not a pediatrician! In Canada where I live the ONLY way you get to see a ped. is if ur refered for some reason by ur GP ( general practitioner ) .......A pediatrician is considered a specialist!



In the case where my doctor has prescribed medicine/ antibiotics I will still ask questions to inform myself because I never just blindly trust someone......I always do my homework!

[deleted account]

Well doctors do give some strange advice and the medical information seems to change all the time. Not too long ago doctors were advising routine circumcision in the USA. When my dad was young they were even routinely removing children's tonsils in the UK. Plus there's all the misdiagnosis and the stories about corrupt drug companies. Can anyone honestly blame people for not trusting doctors these days?

Shelby - posted on 03/11/2010

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I agree that for the most part, following your doctor's orders are usually beneficial,I mean thats why we go to them when we have a health problem. With that being said however, I have received prescriptions only later to find out A) The FDA had not approved the drug for the use of which I was being given it, and that it had no proven benefit to the problem I had B) It interacted with other meds I was taking, that the doc KNEW I was taking.
I also think that a lot of doctors lose their humanity. I think they cram as many patients into their day as they can for the money. It takes a lot of looking around to find a doctor that you are comfortable with. I don't know much about the medical field, so I'm not sure that doctors are ever required to take anything equivalent to a "refresher course" Personally I would love to find doctors who are still passionate about practicing medicine. I don't even mind the occasional hint to certain parenting techniques if they are not so far fetched and out of whack I have to wonder what decade it was considered "normal" practice...
I mean if you think about it, There are doctors out there that BARELY passed med school, but they did pass, so they have a license to practice!!!

April - posted on 03/11/2010

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sometimes it seems like doctors know what they're talking about but while you were waiting to be seen, they google your question or ailment on the internet.

Jackie - posted on 03/11/2010

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Fair point Carol. The way I look at that one is that I am a citizen of the US, that is where I have always lived, and most likely where I will continue to live the remainder of my life as far as I know. So I follow the professional advice of those making recommendations within my culture.

Johnny - posted on 03/11/2010

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Jackie, please keep in mind that not all medical organizations recommend the same things. What the CAP recommends regarding infant sleep is quite different than the AAP. I know the AAP says babies should be in their cribs at all times, but here, co-sleeping in a certified "co-sleeper" or using something beside your bed is recommended for the first 6 months. There are many other issues that various professional organizations disagree on. The American Pediatric dentists have done research and decided that breastfeeding does not risk infant teeth, and the Canadian body has released no such information, and still equates breastmilk in the mouth with the same risks as juice & formula. And the WHO has a whole different set of recommendations as does the Australians, etc. So there really is just not one set of right "rules" to follow.

[deleted account]

I've never heard of insomnia in a newborn. That's interesting. It's definitely ok to seek a second (or third or fourth) opinion until you feel comfortable. A mother's instinct shouldn't be discounted.

Jackie - posted on 03/11/2010

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Kelly, changing doctors I totally agree with if your doctor doesn't seem quite up to par. I'm not saying necessarily stick wtih your first choice, but as you said, you were still following a medical professional. You def. need one you like and trust no questions asked!

Jackie - posted on 03/11/2010

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Sara, I understand what you are saying, but I guess that's my point. I understand they are "recommendations"...but they are considered best practices for child raising essentially...so I don't think doctors should be able to condone doing anything against those practices. Correct, they can't force you, but they can (and should in my opinion) say they completely disagree because of "x". Obviously not all women CAN breastfeed, but they shouldn't be able to support the women who just doesn't want to try, they shouldn't support the mother who doesn't want to vaccinate etc etc on to the many other hot topics.

If you chose to still go against the professions advice then you are taking matters (and your childs) into your own hands and thats your decision/problem, but I think the doctor should have to make it known that it's not ideal.

[deleted account]

I agree with Jackie that he is my child's doctor because he (or she, but mine's a he) is a medical professional and I should take his advice. That said, if the advice seems off or doesn't work like he says it should I am a full supporter of the 2nd opinion.
For example, my son was born with insomnia--I'm not talking about a kid who doesn't sleep well; my son was awake for 22 hours in the hospital after he was born. When I took him to his pediatrician after 3 weeks at home, I brought this up and he did not take me seriously. At his 8 week check up, I mentioned it again and noticed that he was not gaining weight. The doctor recommended rubbing WHISKEY on his gums & supplementing my breast milk with formula!! There was no way in H*** I was putting whiskey in my baby's mouth, so I took him to another doctor, who looked at the records from the hospital and set us up with a sleep specialist. He also told me not to supplement my breast milk, my son was getting plenty but he wouldn't grow unless he could sleep.
The thing is, the 1st pedi came so highly recommended, I interviewed them, toured their offices, I did my homework, but I still chose a crappy doctor. I felt horrible about that and often wonder what could have happened if he had recommended something that I didn't realize was wrong and I had followed the advice.

[deleted account]

Jackie, you're right, I'm sure there are some doctors that know. I just haven't met any yet. That's why I love my LC.

[deleted account]

The AAP makes recommendations for a lot of things. Sleep, just like what you feed your infant, if you vaccinate, etc. (since the AAP recommends breastfeeding and vaccinations), is a personal choice. I think it's ok if a pediatrician offers suggestions that are in line with the AAP, but they can't force you to do something that makes you uncomfortable. Ultimately it's your child and you should do what you feel is best.

Jackie - posted on 03/11/2010

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Well that doctor that Carol saw def. doesn't know much about it....but I wouldn't make a blanket statement about most doctors not knowing.

Jackie - posted on 03/11/2010

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Yes, Carol I do agree it absolutely has to agree with the AAP (or the CAP or whoever), thats what I said, I was referring to doctors who go against it. I think there should be some form of consequences for them. But the AAP also makes certain recommendations on infants sleep...all for safety reasons....so why should they not advise on that?

[deleted account]

It depends for me. My daughter's pediatrician said I didn't have to nurse her when she woke at night (after 6 months), but I did. Wasn't a big deal to me. I could get her back down much faster this way and she wasn't having any weight issues. I do take doctors advice when it comes to serious issues. We thought my daughter had a breathing issue so I took her in right away. We were referred to an ENT and it turned out to be reflux causing irritation. We worked closely with that doctor to help my daughter. I think if my daughter's pediatrician kept recommending things that were against AAP recommendations I would feel very uncomfortable and I would probably find a new one.

Johnny - posted on 03/11/2010

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I generally think that when it comes to medical advice, not parenting advice, that a doctors "orders" should be followed. But it doesn't hurt to do your own research and make sure that the advice fits with what is generally advised by the medical community, like the AAP or here in Canada the CAP.



I say this because last week I experienced some very dangerous advice from a doctor that could have lead to significant pain for me. I had developed a blocked duct in my breast and despite my attempts to clear it, it developed into mastitis. I could not get into see my own doctor for a few days, so I went to a walk-in clinic. The doctor there prescribed an anti-biotic and told me to stop breastfeeding right away because my milk would have pus in it and the anti-biotic would pass into my milk. Now I knew both of these things to be untrue. Firstly, it is strongly recommended to continue nursing during mastitis because if you don't the blockage becomes worse and can actually lead to an abscess. I searched high and low for some confirmation that I should follow his orders and stop nursing, but found absolutely nothing to support him. In fact, both our pediatric society and the provincial health pages stated that one NEEDS to continue to nurse during mastitis to avoid dangerous complications. Okay. But what about the anti-biotic in my milk? So I spoke to the pharmacist who told me that there are only a few drugs that should not be taken during breastfeeding and that it was perfectly safe to nurse my daughter on this antibiotic. Hmmm. So continued nursing, took the anti-biotic, and set up a follow up appointment with my doctor. Who told me that the advice the other doc had given was dangerous and out dated and that he would be reporting him to the medical board. It was a good thing I didn't listen to the first doctor, or I might be in the hospital having an abscess removed instead of at home infection free.



As for parenting advice, I do not think doctors should be handing it out. Things like where and how you handle infant sleep, how one disciplines children, whether or not you spank, those sorts of things have nothing to do with doctors and they have no formal training in those areas. Their advice is about as knowledgeable as my aunt Marge. My doctor actually refuses to give advice in those areas because he is completely unqualified. He is a 45 year old gay man with no kids and no nieces or nephews. He knows nothing about parenting. But I trust him completely with medical issues.

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