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Switching Providers

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Can any of you share some positive experiences in switching providers and what lead you to that decision?


I'm 15 weeks and I haven't met my doc. Part of that is my fault because I did have to cancel an appointment with her when my morning sickness was at its worst. But I have had two weird experiences with their NP and one eh experience with another doctor in the practice. People love the doc who I have chosen as "mine" but there's no guarantee she will deliver my child. In fact, they just rotate shifts and don't even try to deliver their own patients as it was explained to me. What is the point? I am starting to feel like that is not for me, even if I meet this woman next week and love her.


However, from what I hear people say I think it may be impossible to find a doctor who will definitely make every effort to attend your birth. Am I wrong? I don't think a midwife is an option for me, because I have a lot of things that may develop into "high risk."  There's a practice here with one doctor, I thought that might be good but then people cautioned me against it because then who covers for her? Ugh, I don't know.


Things I don't like about this practice:

1. Does not have (or did not offer) gowns that fit me, which made me cry and feel exposed my first appointment

2. Other Dr. was giggly and didn't seem professional and concerned.

3. NP seemed offended when I said I wanted to discuss early glucose testing with my doc instead of just doing it because she said so, but then told me I would have to discuss managing my depression with my doc.

4. NP was unfeeling when I was crying, didn't offer tissue and still forced me into conversations about early glucose testing when I was there to discuss a bad reaction to flagyl and managing my depression

5. Afforementioned roll of the dice on delivery day, I know a lot of practices are like this, and I thought I would like this one because it is one of three female docs, but so far no warm fuzzies.


I have an appointment with my doc, finally, next Thursday. But even if I love her, I feel weird because of these others issues. I know I wouldn't want to continue to go to the NP after the baby is born for annual exams

post #2 of 22

I wish you were down in Tucson. greensad.gif My OB makes every single effort to attend every birth of her patients. Sometimes she can't if she's out of town (this is what happened when Cece was born), but that is about the only reason why she wouldn't be there.

post #3 of 22
Aw, boots. I am so sorry that no one comforted you! ( among the other things)
I would definitely switch. Not ideal, obviously, but you should totally feel comfortable with your doctor. This is a big problem for me too, since I can't seem to find a doc in a practice that doesn't do shifts.

Thinking of you. Hope you figure something out.
post #4 of 22

Boots, I switched for many of the same reasons you have.  The nurses at my practice were, to honest, uninformed and very unhelpful, no one ever called to discuss bloodwork or anything with me, my cystic fibrosis test never made it into my chart (so I wouldn't have found out even if it had been positive), and my doctor on my first meeting just zoomed in and out after a pelvic exam, leaving me to run after her down the hall to ask about Rh negativity and Rhogam.  Needless to say, I felt completely out of control and like my birth was just going to be a medicalized f-up.


I talked with a bunch of people, including medical professionals, and they said to go with either a midwife or a family care practice.  OBs are just too used to dealing with birth like a medical procedure (not all obviously, but many) and in the big practices you have no control over who attends your birth.  If you can't do a midwife for the reasons you mentioned, the solo doc sounds like a great alternative.  The other advantage of a family care doc, if you can find one, is that they can care for the baby and you post-birth.


I ended up going with a micropractice like you were thinking about.  She's just one lady, but she has backup at her previous practice.  The chances of her delivering are much much better than my getting my doctor at my other practice.  If she's out of town, I would deliver with someone else, but her only vacation is for three weeks before my due date, so we're probably safe.


The difference is amazing.  I e-mail her questions and she gets back to me really quickly and her intervention rate is insanely low (6-7% c-section rate) and she is super supportive of my decision not to get a saline lock, for example, which the other practice would not have been.  If I were you, I would meet with the solo provider and ask some of these questions, see if you're comfortable with her, and go from there.  It is always your right to interview doctors before you make a decision about care, so you should be able to make an informed decision that you feel comfortable with.  My attitude toward this pregnancy and birth has completely changed now that I'm in a practice that supports me, makes me feel comfortable, and doesn't immediately dismiss my concerns as irrational.  Set up an interview!  You'll feel a lot better I hope.



post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much, Lily and everyone else. I just wanted to know that there were better options out there. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a family care practice that would deliver babies. I will look into that, but I think I will also call the solo doc. To be honest she was my first instinct, but other people's opinions led me to pick this other place.

I will try to ask if I can just get an appointment to meet the doctor. Should I just expect a totally non-medical visit for this, or will they require vitals, etc? Anyone have experience with interviewing/consulting appointments?



post #6 of 22

My doc just sets up an introductory appointment that is just the patient asking questions.  No medical stuff because s/he doesn't have your insurance stuff and you're not technically a patient.  So use it as an opportunity to really see how you feel in a non-medical setting.  Feel free to tell her your concerns about your previous experience so she can help decide if you two are a good fit.


It can take up to two weeks for your medical history to transfer over, so be aware of that as you set up appointments (we spent a lot of my first actual medical appointment just going over medical history because she hadn't gotten my chart yet). 


Good luck!  Go with your gut on this one.

post #7 of 22

Hi Boots!  So sorry sorry to hear about your experience with that practice.  Since you asked for personal experiences I have had a bad doctor before and the office staff was just as bad, leaving that practice was one of the best medical decisions I have ever made.  Changing if you are having concerns would be a good thing to do.  At the very least it might lift a weight off your shoulders, at the very best it could make a huge difference for you and your baby.  Thinking of you and hope all goes well.  

post #8 of 22

I would definitely say to switch. There are multi-doctor practices where doctors do make some effort to attend their own patients' births, particularly if you develop a good relationship with your doc. It's definitely something to ask about when looking for a new practice, and ought to be something you could call and ask office staff and they should know. Also, you could certainly try to find a practice where you actually liked/were comfortable with most or all of the doctors in the practice, so it would be less of a big deal if you didn't get "your" doctor for delivery. And I definitely agree it's worth talking to the solo-practice doctor. Are there any OB/CNM mixed practices in your area? That could be another option, too. Good luck with figuring things out!

post #9 of 22

If you aren't happy, switch. :) I switched around 20ish weeks with my 4th and was SO grateful. I found a REALLY excellent family practitioner that delivered and his staff has just been amazing. :)

post #10 of 22

I switched at 28 weeks my first pregnancy.  I switched because of the entire practice (3 OBs + 2 CNM) I only liked ONE CNM.  There was no guarantee that she would deliver our baby, and I really detested everyone else.  It was supposed to be a practice that supported natural birth, but I learned that the midwives had very little control over anything and that the doctors really ran the show. The midwife we liked was very young - so young, that I would wonder whether people would take her seriously.  The other midwife was cold and clearly burned out.  She disregarded my husband and treated him like he was not even part of the equation. When we chose to switch we met with the lead midwife from the practice we chose in her office just for an interview.  It was amazing.  We switched and it was the best thing I ever did.  The end of my pregnancy became very complicated and I am convinced that had I stayed with the first practice I would have been forced into an unnecessary C-section.  Listen to your instincts. 

post #11 of 22

I think that if you're having a gut instinct to switch that you should do it.


I ignored my gut instinct in my first pregnancy. I felt like I wasn't clicking with my doctor and he was not going to offer me the kind of birth I wanted. I had all kinds of reasons for NOT switching even though I wasn't happy. I didn't want to rock the boat. It was too late in my pregnancy. It was too much trouble. I told myself that any other doctor would be just as bad. That I wasn't a good risk for midwives because I was high risk (gestational diabetes with insulin). I really regret not listening to my gut that time. Things actually DID come to a head at 38 weeks when he tried to get me to consent to an unorthodox procedure (x-ray on my pelvis) and told me my baby might die if I didn't consent. I finally did switch, but at 38 weeks I had to go with whoever would take me so I didn't end up with anybody who was any better. Now that I know more, I know there are other doctors who would be a better fit. And I really wish I had given the midwives a chance. The good ones would have worked with me despite my risks.


If you want someone who will be at your birth, I strongly urge you to look for a solo practitioner. My OB attends 99.9% of his births (I know one or two he has missed because the mom came in pushing) and never leaves town. He's very old school. Sometimes old school can be a good thing because doctors who have been delivering babies 30-40 years know that babies can be born without pitocin etc. Mine is very low intervention. The only intervention I was offered in my last birth was having my water broken (which I will decline in the future).


Good luck!

post #12 of 22

I agree with everyone here who has said it is better to switch than to stay with a provider when your instincts are telling you so.  My experience was actually with a midwife.  For my 4th I had a midwife for a planned homebirth.  As time went on and I was starting to get into my third trimester I noticed a startling connection....everytime my midwife talked about the ladies she was currently attending to, they were all ending up in the hospital to deliver.  Of course, an internal alarm went off but because I was in my last trimester and finding a homebirth midwife in our area is not easy, I purposely pushed those thoughts and doubts to the back of my mind.  Well guess what, I ended up going 10 days past my due date and she transfered my care to a hospital and OB where I was induced.  I was not happy about her basically "ditching" me at the end.  Since then, I have met many women who have had her as their provider and it seems this is her model of practice.  She gets her payment up front and then transfers care so there is very little work involved and she avoids possible legal ramifications like she has had in the past. 


If it is feeling "wrong" then trust yourself.  You are actually quite lucky to still have time to make a switch that you will most likely be more comfortable with.  Best wishes!

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 

So I'm meeting with the solo OBGYN tomorrow for a consultation appointment (Although they are billing my insurance..?)

I am hoping so hard that I like her!

I am going to go in with a list of my concerns ranked in order of how important to me they are right now. I just want to get some good vibes.


Thank you SO much for all the support and personal experiences in this thread, it has given me hope and courage!




post #14 of 22

Good luck with all of this! I have no doubt you'll be glad you switched - it sounds like your first provider isn't a good fit AT ALL. Let us know how the appt goes!

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

Ugh, so they solo OBGYN office called and canceled my appointment because apparently the doctor is ill. Do I take this as a bad sign and move on with my search, or just reschedule? I feel so lost.



post #16 of 22

Boots, I would reschedule.  An illness could happen to anyone, particularly at this time of year.  Give it one more try.  I know how frustrating this whole process can be though.  Keep the faith!  You can use this opportunity to scan around for other options too so you'll have backup if you don't click with her. 

post #17 of 22

Boots that is so frustrating.  I am sorry!  

post #18 of 22

I would reschedule. If it keeps happening, that would be a red flag, but one time wouldn't make me paranoid yet.

post #19 of 22

I would reschedule, too. Good luck!

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks ladies, just wanted some reassurance. I hate making decisions when I'm crazy ;) 


Rescheduled for next Wed.

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