Am I expecting too much from my child's doctor?

Aime - posted on 01/19/2011 ( 42 moms have responded )

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Hi Moms! I posted the other day about my son recieving what I thought was too many PCV vaccines, which I have found he NEEDED the extra because of the switch from PCV-7 to PCV-13. Which has pretty much sealed my decision to switch my childrens' doctor. It was something I have been feeling I needed to do for some time now, because I don't feel like she communicates well with me regarding the kids. I don't feel like my questions are ever fully answered, and I don't feel like she feels she needs to explain things to me, such as in situations with the vaccines. That's information that would have saved me the 2 hours I spent trying to find SOMETHING telling me why my child had so many. This is something that has happened before. When I was pregnant with my daughter, they found a cyst on her brain at my 20 week ultrasound. My doctor wrote me a 2 line letter saying "A choroid plexus cyst was discovered on baby's brain. If you have any questions contact my office." That's it. No explanation. Nothing. And to me that's something you CALL me about, not just write me a letter. A letter I recieved on a Sunday afternoon, so I spent the night googling it and found all kinds of awful things. I was terrified thinking my baby would die. At 2 months old she had pneumonia AND a UTI, and I brought her to see her repeatedly telling her something was wrong, she's not acting herself, she's getting fevers constantly then they go away then come back, and she sounds like she has something in her lungs, she insisted my daughter was fine even after a urine sample, which I collected using the sterille bag in a diaper from her office, came back with bacteria. She chalked it up to "contamination" which basically means "you didn't do the sample right I'm sure.". Nearly 3 weeks later my daughter was in the emergency room at Children's Hospital, having a catheter inserted into her to take a urine sample, and strapped to a table to have chest x-rays. Which both confirmed that I was not wrong, she was sick, and she ignored it. And because the UTI went for so long she had to have kidney tests done to ensure no damage was done. I gave her the benefit of the doubt, and it seemed to get better for a while, she seemed more attentive, maybe because she felt bad for what happened who knows, but it's back to the same careless doctor againI don't expect her to solely concern herself with my children, but I DO expect that when I am there with her paying her for her time, she devotes THAT time to me. Not hurry to get me out of there. I have never spent the allotted time period in her office. I spent twice as much time in the waiting room. And phone calls are something that irks me as well. When I call, it takes the entire day or more to get a response from her no matter what the case, and the response comes through a nurse. I understand for little things the nurse calling me back, but for bigger things, I'd rather talk to my doctor directly. I understand she's busy, but so are the rest of us. Am I wrong? I just needed to vent I guess.

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Renae - posted on 01/21/2011

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PS - I would never call a doctor and expect to talk to them though. I would expect to be told to make an appointment. I have never thought to just call. Maybe that's just me or just the done thing around here. Not sure :)

[deleted account]

Change doctors. I almost stopped reading when you described getting an e-mail....honestly! My doctor has NEVER e-mailed me, I find that horrendous. He calls.
I never feel rushed, and on occasions where he is stumped, he has told me that he was confused and would consult another doctor or look something up. I know some people might take this as a sign of not knowing everything he should, but to me it is reassuring that he would take the time to ask or research something if he is not 100% sure. There is A LOT for a doctore to know, that's why it takes 8 years and then some to earn a PhD. I cannot fathom how anyone could know everything they need to know about everything without occasionally double checking a reference.....well, I'm babbling now, but you are not expecting too much, and you should look for a new doctor.

I have a horror story about doctors I've been thinking about posting on here...I found out recently that my son was born at 34 weeks, and no one told me. I switched pediatricians very shortly after my son's birth due to similar problems, they were grouped with my OB office. I know being born at 34 weeks is not a big deal, but it is something I should have been told. They had my due date wrong, so while I thought I delivered right on time, he was really early. It was my first and only pregnancy, so I just trusted them, I didn't know what questions to ask. I found out while discussing a current issue at my son's 6 yr physical and he doctor said "That is common in preemies." I responded "But J was not a preemie. He was born right on time." And his Dr said "No, he was born at 34 weeks." That lead to him getting the paper records from the original Dr, and sure enough--34 weeks. I feel SO STUPID!!!! How did I not know?? I see it now, looking back, but I just don't get how I didn't realize it---and why the hell didn't they tell me?? I chalked all the little abnormalities up to "every baby is different" and not knowing what to expect. I'd read a ton of books....but it wasn't enough. My son is fine, but I feel like an idiot.


Sorry for the rant...guess I just needed to get that off my chest.

Christy - posted on 01/19/2011

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FIRE her ass and TELL her you are doing so. You and/or your insurance are paying for her services and you don't have to use her.

Lisa - posted on 01/19/2011

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I think if you're not happy with your pediatrician, it is time to find a new one. I love our doctor and he is always willing to spend as much time with us as I need. For me also, I prefer to talk to his nurse, I'll know she'll get the information I need or get done what I need to get done faster than he would. :) She prioritizes his day, if I go through her, then it's on her plate until it's taken care of and she's going to make sure she gets through her to-do list.

I've found a couple of things that work best for me when I take myself or my kids to the doctor.
1) I write a list of all of the questions/concerns I have and when he comes into the room, I had him the list.
2) I only schedule appointments for my kids for the first appointment of the day. We don't have to wait as long in the waiting room and he's not behind so he's not feeling rushed.

I used to do end of the day appointments but we'd sit in the waiting room so long that the kids would be all wound up and I couldn't concentrate.

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Damaris - posted on 03/17/2011

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Wao it's comforting to read this i thought this things happen in Africa only where Doctors don't want to explain things and when you asked questions its like you are bothering and yet you are paying.

You did the right thing to change the doctor. I did change my gyno severally before i settled to one because of the same thing. i needed someone who can explain to me whats happening and make me understand the problem and how to solve it.

Chanteal - posted on 02/02/2011

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Um yeah you made the right choice don't ever take your kids back to her b/c SHE DOESN'T CARE about the well-being of your precious darling babies. Insane.

Kylie - posted on 01/27/2011

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hi,i totally agree with ur story.no doctor seems to care about patients anymore.i still havent found a good one for my children and myself.i spend up to an hr and a half waiting in doctor clinics to see one and then they quickly look u over and ur out within 2 mins.i suffer with really bad depression and before they put me on meds they woud say its stress just relax.its all in ur head and i'd be left to deal with it.the third time i went it was "heres a precription,take these."even when i take kids to a doc they throw a precription in ur face and say "thats what they need."they R all about vthe money these days.i only go now when one of us REALLY needs it.i should be able to go in there even if i have questions about things.

Rebecca - posted on 01/27/2011

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It is time to find another doctor. I understand that the doctor cannot always call you, so the nurse does, but when it comes to a serious things it should not be an e-mail asking you to follow up with questions if you have them. I can e-mail my doctor questions ahead of time so that he has time to answer them when he can and the answers are ready when I get there. It helps keep the schedule on time for everyone and it documents my concerns as well. I sometimes forget to ask things when I do not have a list or have sent them ahead.

Tiffany - posted on 01/27/2011

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You are absolutely not wrong! She is there to serve YOU. Her JOB is to serve YOUR child. If I were you, I would find a new doctor asap. If your doctor is not willing to listen to you and explain things to you then they are not a good doctor.

Brennis - posted on 01/27/2011

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If nothing else you need a doctor you can talk to. I have had to go through about 4 doctors before finding 2 at the same location that i liked. That way if 1 was busy i could get the other.

A good doctor will ALWAYS take the time to explain something.

Amber - posted on 01/26/2011

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Heck no! You're not over reacting. If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck it's a duck and your doctor sure sounds like a quack to me! It seems like you should also report this as she's jeopardized your daughter's health and probably countless others.

April - posted on 01/26/2011

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OMG her not diagnosing your daughter's very common illness correctly id unexcuseable. How did she get through medical school? Never go back. She should be glad you aren't trying to sue her for malpractice or negligence!

[deleted account]

i would change drs. my dr is fantastic, he has a time every day when you can call and ask him questions, but if's it's urgent he will talk to you right away. when my son has been suddenly sick he always makes time to see us. he is very good at letting me ask questions, and explaining things, and makes sure i understand. he is a GP, and sees my son, my husband, and myself, as well as treating my aunts, and grandfather before that. he doesn't ignore small problems, and knows that if i come to him and say something is wrong he will do somethng about it.

Lisa - posted on 01/26/2011

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Definately need to change. Remember, a doctor works FOR you, you are a paying customer and should expect excellent service. Also, the only way the medical professionals will improve is if we let them know what our complaints are. You should definately let your doctor know why you are leaving. If you can't do it in person, write a letter. You could also include what you liked about how the nurses responded to your concerns, that way they get feedback on what IS working. Good luck.

Heather - posted on 01/26/2011

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No not wrong. As a mom of almost 6 The most valuable thing I have learned is the ONLY advocate your child has is the parent(s). I had a similar experience with my oldest at 6 weeks old...He was VERY sick I kept calling they said he was fine finally I insisted they see him and his dr said He just has a cold. One day later he was in the ER with low oxygen and dehydration and being put on a breathing machine. I know kids can get worse quickly but ignoring a mom who knows something is wrong is not a good dr. THe next Dr we had was decent but we realized did most of her care through our State funded heath plan and treated (unfortunately) kids as such. My son had to have a years worth of antibiotics and ear infections before recommending a specialist. We switched again and now I will never switch from the Dr/group we found unless we move far away. He attends to my children's needs and my concerns. I say all of this to offer you hope. You can find a good dr just keeping looking. Good luck

Wendy - posted on 01/26/2011

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I don't think you are expecting too much at all! If you ever read your insurance EOB's, they are getting paid A LOT to do their jobs, and in some cases, we moms maybe need a little more then they are giving the other moms. I ask tons of questions and have been known to "go off" on my doctors for blowing me off and such like that, it generally doesn't happen again and they do gain a little more respect (fear) for you that way and know to start off on the right foot.

Our final straw, however, was with my son. When he was about 1.5 years old, we all, the family, started noticing little things that weren't quite right with him and we mentioned them to the peds doctor and passed it off as growth, age stuff. Then, the migraines started, and after having taken my son myself into the doctor many times and nothing being done, my husband finally did it, and the doctor handed him reading material, got extremely rude and told him we were imagining things, 2 yo do not get migraines....blah, blah, blah...our son had been up SICK for 3 days...he was pissed and called me to see where else he could take him. We started "moonlighting" with mine and my husbands primary care physician, which we had switched our older daughter to just before this inccident because they refused to do a strep test, and she was totally strep positive! Anyway, we did that for about a year, and things got worse with our son. We went to therapists and a few other doctors and even to Children's Hospital, upon their request only to be sent hom and told it was parentling, or lack there of...FU!...and no one believed our son was "crazy." We finally had enough, I called our insurance agent in tears asking her to please help me find another neurologist to talk to about his "symptoms." We finally found one, after over a year and a half. We ran some tests and were finally on track to finding some answers...dumb luck, another doctor that was going to do a routine toncil removale, sent us home and refused to do the surgery...we found out 4 days later, after the MRI we had begged all the other doctors for about 5 times, proved that something was wrong with our son...we had emergency brain surgery 3 weeks later to save his life...we thank God every day for pushing harder and finding a doctor, or doctors in our case, that we trusted, and it paid off...and for the random doctor that sent us home because of a simple headache my 2.5 yo had that morning, he knew it wasn't right. If he had done that surgery, my son wouldn't be here today, and that was confirmed by 4 doctors/specialists between Denver and Pheonix.

Parents know, moms know, when something isn't right and you have to follow your gut. We just celebrated our 1 year anniversary with our sons surgeon, and she today, is still astonished that he was doing as well as he was when she met him, and survived to tell about it. We even started having some "issues" 4 months after surgery which were similar to his previous symptoms, and without questions, she ordered another MRI to confirm that surgery was successful...is was 50% successful compared to what she wanted, but our some is a healthy and happy again 4yo and she is watching him close. Being he is growing, his brain is now fixing itself and we shouldn't, God loving, need more surgery ever.

PUSH! Get the answers you want and need to feel good about a decission! We live in the mountains, and just to find this doctor, we drive 85 miles into Denver one way...it is totally worth the drive!

I chewed out the peds doctor and Children's Hospital after they blew us off...haven't heard from them since...hahaha. We also stopped moonlighting with the other and just flat moved over there and they have been awesome and know to keep on things with my kidos, and they respect that.

Good luck! How is your daughter?

Jessica - posted on 01/26/2011

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i had the same problem with my pediatrician and my son almost died because of it... i mean he was hours away from being dead for a birth defect that was so easy to detect that it would have taken her two seconds to figure it out. i would switch right away. i would interview some other pediatricians in the same office or go to a different clinic! you do not need someone that does not take your daughter's health seriously. that is scary!! i would find someone that is willing to talk to you about your questions and spend time with you in their office. it is rare, but possible... maybe ask around?? i would also write her a letter expressing your feelings. she maybe unaware that she is doing anything wrong or that she could improve... don't make it nasty but do express your feelings (but still switch). i wish i did. i recently moved back and started going to the same clinic again (eleven years later) and every time i see her i want to tell her... but i feel like it is too late. i am just glad that i switched doctors at the moment i did or my son would be dead. or i wish i would have listened to my heart and switched the first moment i met her but i thought i was being silly because i was young and he was my first and i thought at the time that doctors know best and they are always right... now i know that she was horrible and wrong... and doctors can be wrong!! i wish i would have listened to my heart and saved my son from unnecessary pain (the same as your daughter being sick for three weeks... that is sad that your doctor put her through that!!! and then put it off like you are just her paranoid mother and you don't know what you are talking about!!). also for the nurse always calling you instead of the doctor... most doctors do that and most often the nurse knows more than the doctor and can offer you better advice.

Jessica - posted on 01/26/2011

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You are absolutly right she should be more attentive to yours and your daughters needs. You deffinatly need to switch doctors. The main thing your doctor should be thinking about when she is in the room with you is your daughter and how she can put your mind at ease, her first priority is to ensure your daughter is safe and healthy and then she needs to make sure you have all the details about your daughters illness.

Row - posted on 01/26/2011

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No way are you wrong, It could be your babies life in her hands and you need her to be as on to it as possible. My doc is so amazing she came to visit me in hospital after I had our baby to see how I was, she always fits me in even where there are no free appointments she will stay late to see me. We always go over our appointment time and she is so wonderful and helpful. Last time I was there we chatted about anything I wanted to talk about we were there fr over an hour just discussing things (quiet day)
Dont settle there are amazing docs our there.

Dawn - posted on 01/26/2011

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hello..hers my take on Dr. of all kinds...whn we go to a Dr,s office unfortunately sometimes we do encounter an air of arrogance... I myself am a mother of two and also took care of my elderly mother...If and when you feel your Dr...is not meeting your needs, your childs need etc. then it is time to find another one...Doctors seem to forget that we, the patients are actually their lively hood. It goes against their Hippocratic oath when we are pushed along and left to feel as we are an inconvenience to their schedule or themselves. You NEED to be comfortable with all of your families health care providers sweetie. YOU CAN NEVER EXPECT TO MUCH!!!! We must ads parents take our part in the care of our loved ones to seek and find health care providers that will spend as much time as it need to answer any and all questions and provide you with satisfactory answers...Remember without you thry would have no lively hood..Seek out another Dr.
Good luck
Dawn W

[deleted account]

Sounds like you should've dumped that doc a long time ago. It's beyond time for change. Good luck with your new doctor search.
My kids' doctor is an hour away but it's worth it because I rarely have to spend much time in the waiting room and my kids get great care.
New clinics are great because they have not had time to get filled up with patients. They will always have time for you. Also try clinics in rich towns. If they're used to catering to folks with money, they'll already be in the habit of giving good care. My kids go to a new clinic in a rich town. Double bonus! :)

[deleted account]

Oooh....FIND ANOTHER DOCTOR!!! I'm assuming that your daughter ended up being okay, in terms of any kidney damage?
Your child(ren)'s doctor should be attentive to your concerns and most importantly your child(ren)'s health. Shop around and find a doctor you feel comfortable with.
Good luck! :)

Sandra - posted on 01/25/2011

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Your are right sista! It pisses me off that these doctors feel they are sooooo far up there that your life has to revolve around their schedule! I have had situations where it has taken a week or so for my doctor to call me back! Ridiculous!

Kristen - posted on 01/24/2011

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You are so NOT WRONG! As a parent you want the best for your child and you need to feel comfortable with their pediatrician. If you do not feel comfortable with them you do need to find another. My son just had a major brain surgery...it is call a hemispherectomy, due to seizures. He was a healthy little boy until right before his 5th birthday when he started having seizures. They where focal seizures and when the neurologist saw him it was basically a jerking in his shoulder and she actually asked if we thought he was doing it himself. Needless to say we ended up with a different neurologist. If we would've just took what she said and thought it was no big deal things could've got so much worse for him. So I think as a mother you know your child the best and so a doctor should listen to what you have to say and always answer your questions to the best they can and not just blow you off with a half a** answer.

Tayna - posted on 01/24/2011

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definately not that your pride and joy you have the right to question any and everything that he or she does to your baby.

Reba - posted on 01/24/2011

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this is your child and you should do what is best for your child. it sonds like you are a number to her...someone to push through as quickly as possible to get as many patients seen every day as possible, if you will. If she is this careless with you, your child and your concerns she is not living up to her oath as a doctor. perhaps you might consider reporting your situation and for surtain switch doctors until you find one that is there to HELP you keep your child healthy. after all you pay her salary. without her patients she would not have a practice.
goods luck and remember to go with your heart.

Melissa - posted on 01/24/2011

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What took you so long. Don't fight your gut instinct if you need more from a doctor. Ask some other mom's in your area who they use and if and why they like them.

Claire - posted on 01/22/2011

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first of all change drs/peadiatricians i would if i were in your situation? When i need to speak to our gp and i don't want to make an appointment i phone and ask for the dr to phone me back and then he can decide whether there is a need for him to see our child. We have a great peadiatrician who sits and listens to our concerns, we now see her at our sons school so it is easier for us than having to go to the local hospital and try finding a parking space and waiting for about 3 hours which causes them to get upset. hope everything goes ok? claire

Heather - posted on 01/22/2011

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I went through seven doctors before I found one that fit. It seemed odd to me that I had more medical knowledge than the first six of them.... Do not hesitate to shop around and ask the hard questions ! A little known medical fact is that if you seem to know what you are talking about while in the dr office or hospital they tend not to shove you out the door because then they assume you understand what malpractise means. shop around!

Renae - posted on 01/21/2011

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I think most GP's or family doctors (or whatever they are called where you are) are like this. I also find most GPs know very little about babies, and well, very little about a lot of topics! When I had my baby and came home from the hospital, I had the option of booking my baby's check ups with the paediatrician, but at the time, not knowing any different, I said I would just go to a local doctor rather than travelling back to the hospital. Big mistake! If I had gone back to the paed, then I would have remained a patient of the paed and been able to see them whenever I needed. As it turned out, when we did need a paed, I had to go through 8 doctors to convince one to give me a referral and then I had to wait 5 months to get in to see a private paediatrician! I wish I had known better.

It is sad that we cant trust what every doctor says, that some doctors will treat cases they have no experience with and that most of them approach us mothers with the attitude that we dont know what we are talking about and are just an over-reacting mother with unrealistic expectations of parenthood - I hate being labelled that way and it takes so long to convince them you are different.

Keep changing docs till you find one you can trust. I recently saw a new doc at the local practise, an Indian man who was very nice, took the time to explain things and seemed to know what he was talking about. I think we will continue to see him.

[deleted account]

When I call, it takes the entire day or more to get a response from her no matter what the case, and the response comes through a nurse.

That part is par for the course and you will just need to deal with it. However, everything else can be fixed. I would suggest interviewing other doctors and seeing which one would fit you better. You CAN interview them though you will have to pay for each interview. Consider them down payments on finding a great doctor that will be with your child until adulthood.
good luck

[deleted account]

Ask around and find a new doc. I went to visit a cousin who just had her first baby last week. She called the pediatrician's office because her baby was constipated, and she wanted a recommendation for formula. The message she got was, "We'll return your call in two business days. If this is an emergency dial 911." I pulled out my cell phone and a piece of paper and wrote down my pediatrician's office number for her. I even have my pediatrician's cell phone number and yes I've used it. And yes, she's answered and has been very helpful. There are good docs out there. Go find one!

Alexis - posted on 01/20/2011

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SWITCH DOCS! I had to switch docs for my son and I am sooo happy I did. Whats the point of having a doc if she isnt even finding problems with your child that you are noticing at home? you are not wrong and even if it was as simple as a personality clash with your childs doc, that is reason enough to switch.

Aime - posted on 01/20/2011

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WOW Kelly that's TERRIBLE!!! Certainly a doctor should tell you your child was born at 34 weeks. That's early enough to be dangerous. I have chosen a new doc already, and I researched a lot before chosing. I found a doctor who had a lot of reviews online, and everyone said great things about her. So hopefully this will be a better experience. Thanks for all the replies!

Jennifer - posted on 01/19/2011

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It's time to find another doc. I wish every doc could be as attentive as my children's pediatrician. She listens to everything I say, explains everything to me, then asks if I understand! She even calls me personally (not a nurse) the day after I take my children to her for a sick visit, just to make sure they are getting better. The only draw back is that a lot of times we wait 1-2 hrs in the waiting room, but I really don't mind, because I figure since she doesn't rush me, then she isn't rushing others either.
I have had my fair share of bad docs though too, so I know exactly where you are comming from. Even if the doc did all of a sudden start acting better, the trust is gone, and that is something you can't get back once it is gone. There are good docs out there, and you may go through a couple before you find one you like. Just keep searching.

Amy - posted on 01/19/2011

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Doctors - though they may think they are high and mighty - are your EMPLOYEES. You have the right to fire them, or question them at any length you feel you need. And spend as long as you need questioning them before you hire them as full time doctor for you and loved ones.

Aime - posted on 01/19/2011

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WOW I didn't realize how LONG my post was until I just looked at it..holy. Sorry about that.. Yes a pediatrician I am able to contact is something I ache for. Literally I ache for it. I want to know that if I am freaking out about something I can get in touch. I'm fine speaking to nurses, but some things you just need to talk to the DOCTOR for. That's why they went through so much school isn't it? To learn all the things we ourselves don't yet know. I am looking forward to meeting the new doctor, have already made my choice. It happens to be at my husband's old pediatrician office, and I was able to find a LOT of reviews on this new doctor. ALL positive.

Kelly - posted on 01/19/2011

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You are absolutely not wrong!!!! I would do the same thing in your shoes. Your pediatrician should bend over backwards to answer your questions and make you feel at ease. We've been blessed to have a pediatrician who listens to us and all the doctors in the practice are the same way, I feel comfortable seeing any of them at a moment's notice. My daughter has had some growth issues and he's been on top of it the whole time, getting in to specialists when needed, etc. They have a nurse help line, which will get back to you within an hour, and if you need to talk to the doctor you get his voice mail and he gets back to me within a couple of hours, if not sooner. We never wait long for him and he'll even let me talk to him about my other child even its his/her sibling's visit. He even got my kids both their flu shots at the same time so I wouldn't have to bring themn in for seperate visits. And if you doctor is missing serious things, get someoen else! That is unacceptable!

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