How'd you find your pediatrician? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-02-2012, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a little different from most of the people posting on this site because I am not a mother. I am a college student aspiring to become a pediatrician. I want to be the best pediatrician that I can be, so I was hoping to get some advice from everybody. 

 

I assume that most people have already found pediatricians for their children, so I was just wondering, what were some things that you guys looked at when considering a pediatrician? What factors influenced your decisions? Was there anything that you found that made you absolutely not want to go to a certain pediatrician?

 

Thank you,

Liz

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Old 11-02-2012, 06:46 PM
 
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I based on who will not push vaxing and the flu shot, we went through four peds before we found the right one.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:49 PM
 
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I found our first one through my family practice intern. He got us in with a great pediatrician. She was friendly but hee focus was on the child's well being. She was also very patient with first time mom questions. When my car broke down when dd was four I told her it was hard to get out that far and she got us into our current amazing pediatrician who works in the same practice at a location a few miles from our home. I like her because she has a lot of experience so isn't quick to push medicine or costly tests. She is all about the kids and focuses most of her attention on them as her patients which is also a big plus for a school age child who loves to feel important.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:53 PM
 
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I found ours through word of mouth. Proximity to our house was another factor. What kept us was respectful care - the docs were great to me and the kids, listened to my concerns and didn't dismiss me even when I had questions about delay vax etc. I felt that the doc was a partner in my kids health.

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Old 11-03-2012, 09:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaandbunny05 View Post

I assume that most people have already found pediatricians for their children, so I was just wondering, what were some things that you guys looked at when considering a pediatrician? What factors influenced your decisions? Was there anything that you found that made you absolutely not want to go to a certain pediatrician?

what i thought and what i had IrL was very different for me. 

 

i realised i didnt need to have a Ped. who agreed with what i wanted to do. i needed her to respect my way of being. 

 

i changed my first ped. when he kept insisting dd should change to formula at 2 months when she had diarrhea. he didnt try figuring out anything. he just went straight to stop bfeeding. i tried working with him over this, but he just would  not listen. 

 

i had done a lot of research in finding him and actually interviewed him and his opinions before dd was even born. so when i changed i just went for the first open doctor blindly.

 

and she was wonderful. she didnt push me to change. she had to say her piece that was hospital policy as she was an intern (best ped. i've had so far). 

 

i will say what would be fabulous is if you took some Early Childhood Education classes in school if you still can. even as a mother those classes are very helpful. i took them as a mother and i was blown away by how much it helped my perspective to be a better parent. 

 

what i want you to know is that for the first two or 3 years for most parents you are a HUGe support. your words matter a lot because they are looking for parenting advice - like breastfeeding, cosleeping which they dont realise is NOT in the realm of a ped. you are seen more as a 'parent' rather than a ped. kwim?!!! now that my dd is grown i no longer depend on peds for life advice but to diagnose, but for many of us during the early years it mattered how you spoke to the parents and how you didnt try to impose your views on them, because many dont have families or the right kind of friends to seek advice from. 

 

i live in CA. one other thing i find is very important is that you are aware of cultural differences in family. take an anthropology class? i have had too many asian babies who have been diagnosed with failure to thrive because they are off the charts - yet the ped does not try to have another perspective when they see my friends, the parents are barely 5 feet tall. i think its important that you know that those red marks on the neck of the child with cold is not abuse but coining in traditional chinese medicine. 

 

i have seen peds who have had no bedside manners. he was kinda rude and gruff. but boy was he on the roll as a diagnostician. we were trying to figure out why dd was having this reaccuring rash at 18 months and he logically thought things through (Dr. House type) and then came to a conclusion. i probably wouldnt have been happy with him initially when dd was a baby (i really think it is ridiculous to do well baby with peds instead of GPs, because i consider ped. to be a specialty), but when he was in his element - even though he lacked everything i wanted in a ped - i had a lot of respect for him. 


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Old 11-03-2012, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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meemee, thank you that was incredibly helpful. I've taken a few classes in Early Childhood Education (took them in high school but did the program where they become college credits) so I know a little, but I'd still like to learn more. I thought about taking some parenting classes just so that I'd be able to see what types of things parents should learn. I know there isn't too much diversity up here in Vermont, but I wanted to get more knowledgeable of other cultures anyways.. I'd also like to learn a few other languages as a just in case. I know when I went to Canada and everyone around me was speaking French, I got a little frustrated because I had no idea what they were talking about and it made it really rough on me. I can just imagine how people who live in the US and try to find a doctor must feel, especially if they have the same limits of the English language as I had of the French one. I'd feel awful if a parent brought their children to me and they were trying to ask questions but I had no idea how to help them out.

 

I'd also like to get more familiar with different choices parents can make... like cosleeping. I know a little about breast feeding vs. bottle feeding (colostrum is important) but I don't know much about the choices not to vaccinate (I thought that if your child went to public school, unless you were a certain religion, they had to be vaccinated?) I'm hoping within the next fifteen years, I'll know a lot more about children, and how to help parents understand children and equipped them with all of the choices that they can make.

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Old 11-03-2012, 10:10 AM
 
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smile.gif

 

here's my advice about language. instead of trying to learn a bunch of languages learn just one. unless of course unlike me, language comes easy to you. but learn the language well where you are able to read works of literature and are able to grasp the nuances of their languages. at the hospital you will always get interpretors, and because of these nuances its important to get someone who really knows the language. esp. medical conditions. its not easy to translate with just a cursory knowledge of the language. 

 

remember language is bigger than we can ever imagine. language is culture. to kill a culture all you have to do is kill the language and the culture will begin to assimilate. that is what happened to the Native Americans in this country and that is why they are struggling to hold on to their culture, and that is what the government tried to do to the hispanics too but failed.

 

i cant quite express the joys of learning a new language. it is like a whole new world opened up to you. you will notice how even lyrics of songs opens up a whole new world for you. 


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Old 11-03-2012, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've dabbled a little in Spanish, French, Japanese, and sign language. Those are the ones I'd really like to learn. To me, Japanese came the easiest, but French and Spanish had enough similarities that after learning some words in Spanish, words in French were easy to figure out. As for sign language, I just find it interesting that you can communicate without speech. Although since I don't know all of the medical terms in English yet, it may be pretty close to impossible to try and learn them in any other languages for the time being.

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Old 11-03-2012, 10:51 AM
 
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actually the biggest communication happens silently. at least imho.

 

with your patients it isnt that they need to know the medical terms in their language. its more important that you understand in their language and are able to communicate in that language back. for instance if someone says i have fire under the feet, you have to answer in the same vein of how to cool the feet. or you have to even understand what they said in teh first place. 


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Old 11-03-2012, 05:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beaandbunny05 View Post

 

 

I'd also like to get more familiar with different choices parents can make... like cosleeping. I know a little about breast feeding vs. bottle feeding (colostrum is important) but I don't know much about the choices not to vaccinate (I thought that if your child went to public school, unless you were a certain religion, they had to be vaccinated?) I'm hoping within the next fifteen years, I'll know a lot more about children, and how to help parents understand children and equipped them with all of the choices that they can make.

 

Read the boards here for more insight into these things. As for breast feeding vs formula is more than just colostrum, did you know that breast milk contains stem cells that work in the same way as embryonic stem cells and are utilized by the child for the duration of their nursing? Breast milk is not just food, it has functions which go far beyond nutrition. It has dramatic and long term effects not only on the immune system development, but gut flora, allergy, brain development and other heath parameters. It is an immune regulator, a hormone conductor, a bone density wizard and a genetic blueprint scanner.

So as you can see it is amazing stuff, thus as a pediatrician you should do all you can to help a mother nurse her baby. You also need to read up on vaccine exemptions, because you are wrong about that. I would also like to suggest you learn about the travesty of early clamping of the cord, which is a practiced that needs to stop. http://www.cordclamp.org/

 

As for your original question, I would only ever go to a doctor that respects my choices, the most important is that they respect I will not, ever vaccinate my children. To do that, I research and ask like-minded people. To be fair, I have only ever used pediatricians for school physicals. My children have never (22, 15, 12) required a sick visit to the doctor. 

 

Lastly, I would ask you to watch this interview with pediatrician, Dr Lawrence Palevsky, he's the kind of pediatrician I would use, if I need him and I lived any where near him!

 

 


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Old 11-05-2012, 12:40 PM
 
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 Was there anything that you found that made you absolutely not want to go to a certain pediatrician?

 

 

yes.  In my area, there is a ped practice that on the surface, seemed to be THE place to take your kids.  When I was pregnant, I started doing research and asking around and learned that it is very hard to get an appointment, that the practice basically makes everyone wait at least three days before finding availability in the doc's schedule. 

 

I never did find a pediatrician.  Turns out our regular family doc (I barely knew him as I rarely needed a doc) is a father of five, his wife EBF all the boys into the toddler years and he shares very similar parenting ideas.  It ended up being a perfect fit for us. 


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Old 11-05-2012, 12:48 PM
 
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I never did find a pediatrician.  Turns out our regular family doc (I barely knew him as I rarely needed a doc) is a father of five, his wife EBF all the boys into the toddler years and he shares very similar parenting ideas.  It ended up being a perfect fit for us. 

caneel this is the way it SHOULD be. if you told any other country like australia you were taking your child to the ped. they'd think there was something seriously wrong because they only take kids to teh ped if there are some special issues. not for regular stuff.

 

i would happily trade in my wonderful ped. for a family doctor who has known me and my family for years.


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Old 11-05-2012, 01:28 PM
 
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caneel this is the way it SHOULD be. if you told any other country like australia you were taking your child to the ped. they'd think there was something seriously wrong because they only take kids to teh ped if there are some special issues. not for regular stuff.

 

i would happily trade in my wonderful ped. for a family doctor who has known me and my family for years.

 

Funny that you say the bold because that was very much the attitude of my OB, the nurse practioner and the lactation consultant. They were the ones that advised me to learn what that path (at least in my area) would entail in terms of accessibility, types of care, etc. 

 

I don't want to be anti-ped, especially since the OP is looking for advice on the subject.  I just assumed a ped was the best way to go for all children without exception until I learned otherwise.

 

There are many things I just love about him but something that may be of value to the OP, I like that he has a very varied background.  He served in the military as a doc where he did a lot of women's health services as well as emergency and critical care issues.  He does work in third world countries so he has seen all sorts of things.  

 

So to give the OP advice - get exposed to as much as possible so you will be able to appreciate a broad range of life style choices and cultures.  (someone else may have touched on this already)


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Old 11-05-2012, 04:31 PM
 
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I found mine through word of mouth, using LLL members.  I would switch if they did not support breastfeeding or didn't know enough about intact patients or if I got parenting advice I did not ask for or strongly disagreed with (for instance CIO). Quote:

Originally Posted by Mirzam View PostAs for breast feeding vs formula is more than just colostrum, did you know that breast milk contains stem cells

 

http://kellymom.com/blog-post/milk-vs-formula-under-the-microscope/

Here is a picture.  


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Old 11-05-2012, 05:02 PM
 
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I want a ped:

  • Who respects me as a mom. 
  • Who doesn't assume they know what is best for me and my family because they are the "doctor". 
  • Who deals with the issue I came in for, and doesn't look for other things to "check".
  • Who respects my decision to not vaccinate. Who has researched vaccines and has come to their own conclusions, instead of reciting what the medical community has told them to think/say. Who doesn't say stupid things like "your son has seizures because you didn't vaccinate him" (true story). Who doesn't push me to vaccinate, because it will give them a bit more money for that car/boat/house. 
  • Who leaves my son's penis alone - doesn't try to retract, doesn't try to touch. One who is familiar with intact penii and the care of them. (My boys are older now, but this was super important when they were babies. I would hurt anyone who touched their penis and attempted to retract it. Doctor included.)
  • Who understands breastfeeding, bottle feeding, formula feeding. And doesn't push any of them, but respects the mom's decision to do whichever she wants - as it works for her and her child/family - as long as the child is growing and meeting milestones appropriately. Also, who understands that formula and breastmilk are different, and children will grow differently on them. And who understands when it's time to refer them to a trusted lactation consultant for breastfeeding issues, if that is the case. 
  • Who is well-versed in tongue tie and lip tie, and knows what to do about it, or refers out to an LC to get it taken care of.
  • Who is willing to look at alternative measures for treatment, and doesn't just push medicine. One who gives options - "You can do a, b, or c. I've seen lots of success with a and b. I haven't seen much with c, but not a lot of people choose that. Which would you like to try first?"
  • Who understands that co-sleeping can be done safely. Who understands that family bed can be ok. 
  • Who understands that CIO (cry it out, ferber method, etc) is dangerous for the child.

 

There's more to this list I could think of, but these are the basics. My boys are now 9 and 6, so 4/10 of these issues aren't quite as important to me now as they were several years ago. And yes, when I interviewed ped's for my babies, I asked about these things.

 

I don't do well-visits past 6mo. I do physicals once a year. (We have a history of cancers and a few other things, I like to stay on top of it.) I have a ped now who is awesome. The ped before this one talked vaccines every time I went in, because the first 5 times I said no, I must not have been serious. And yes, when my 9yo started having seizures a few years ago, I was told he was having them because I had not vaccinated him. Never mind that we have a family history of epilepsy, and never mind that a few vaccines cause seizures, and never mind that there isn't a vaccine to protect against seizures. As if I'm stupid and don't research anything, just go with the trend. He's not allowed to see my kids anymore, it's in their medical charts. *sigh* (Can you tell the vaccine thing is REALLY important to me?)

 

Hope this is helpful.


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Old 11-05-2012, 07:52 PM
 
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Like a lot of the PPs, I looked for a doctor who:

-Respects me, my choices, and my knowledge of my children (i.e. my doctor openly states that I, as the mom, know my children the very best and probably can guess what is going on with them better than she could ever, even as a trained doctor, at least is most cases)

-is aware of different parenting choices and open to different types of parenting choices including extended breastfeeding, cosleeping, baby wearing, early potty training, non-vax, no-circ etc. 

-is very very very educated about nutrition-whole foods, real nutrition.  My doc actually says vitamins are not necessary because we should instead focus on getting those things through food. 

-is open to different vax schedules and is educated about WHY i might want a different or no vax schedule.  My doc does not advocate any vax until 2 years old adn then only limited (she also nows how to go about getting exceptions for not vaxing for public and homeschooling :)

-is available to me and my child!  My first ped did not answer his phone half the time and drove me crazy when I was a first time mom with a baby and had a million questions.  My current doc is very good about squeezing us in for last minute appointments, though it generally ends up with the NP, and has been very supportive when I had a very sick kid at home-she and her colleague actually asked us to call them every couple hours through the middle of the night to keep them updated with our daughter's very high fever-they could have easily just told us to take her to the ER so they didn't have to deal with it. 

-is educated/knowledgeable out herbal/homeopathic remedies, even if they do not use or promote them. 

 

All that to say, we actually use a family doctor, but only because she met most of our wants and needs!  The caveat is I drive 45 minutes to see her, which is tough when the kids are actually sick, and she has very very limited hours, so I often see the NP or another colleague when it is a last minute appointment. 

 

My best advice would probably simply be to respect the parents and remember in most cases you are there to help and support the parent and child, not to force your viewpoint on them or make them do anything. 


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Old 11-05-2012, 08:32 PM
 
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In medicine you'll meet a number of social workers. Study carefully what they do. The skills in which they are trained will go miles if every ped adopts them--eye contact, active listening (include validating statements, rephrasing for clarification, etc.), starting "where the client is," full and voluntary informed consent, empathy, cultural sensitivity and respect for diversity, and respect for client self-determination are just a few examples that come to mind.

The best doctors that I've known and worked with have the skills of a social worker. treehugger.gif Can you tell I'm a social worker? innocent.gif Oh, and since you'll be in peds, you'll get to exercise these skills with the wee ones.

I find my health care providers through word of mouth in the so-called "crunchy" and "natural" communities. So many of us have been burned by providers, so it's refreshing to meet one like you. It's OK for a doctor to disagree with my parenting choices so long as the disagreement involves respect and dialogue instead of guilt, fear, and/or coercion.

Best wishes to you on your career journey!

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Old 11-06-2012, 07:20 AM
 
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We have been through a number of pediatricians. Finally we decided we would rather go with a holistic family doctor. There are two holistic family practitioners in this area that I know of and that come highly recommended, and they are both supportive of non vaxxers. Here were some of the things that helped me choose:

 

*One doctor gave me a very firm, lecture almost, on his discipline views and how he felt AP tended to be permissive and were doing their children a disservice. I really don't appreciate going to my doctor and getting advice on how I choose to discipline, I'm going there for medical advice.

 

*The other doctor really takes me seriously and listens to my concerns.

 

* While they were both supportive of non vaxxers they had different viewpoints on the issue. One doctor preferred a delayed and selective route for vaxs, while the other doctor didn't even offer vaxs at all but she would be willing to give vaccine counseling for those with questions.

 

*The doctor we chose to go with has been very easy to get a hold of, answers my phone calls asap, and has really tried to get me in the same day every time I have a real concern. There has only been one time she could not fit us into her schedule and that time she called me and walked me through exactly what I would need to say when I took dd to the urgent care.


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