No-Vax friendly pediatrician in Chicago? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 10-02-2009, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm in Chicago, doesn't matter if I have to travel north or south, or to close suburbs. Does anyone know of a No-Vax friendly pedi in the area? We're using the religious exemption, but I don't know if that matters. DD has not been to her pedi in a while (we were selective vaxing but told the pedi we were "delaying" the rest.. we just never went back). We're however looking for a pedi for our new DD and our current DD.

TIA!

EDITED TO ADD: Both DDs are/will be on Illinois Medicaid.

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#2 of 29 Old 10-02-2009, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just came on to add that I got DD in to see Mariela Cano at Ravenswood (IL Masonic). DD already sees her pedi there (whom I've had horrible problems with as far as delaying even varicella for her, she just gives you that "glare" and asks 10,000 times about why not and why would I want to risk this and that and this and.. yeah). So I'm pretty happy with all of this I'll let you all know how it goes, it is in mid november.

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#3 of 29 Old 10-02-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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Love Dr. Minkus in Skokie, or Lincolnwood. He's Pro Breastfeeding, Cosleeping, Homebirth, and is fine with not vaxing. LOVE HIM!
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#4 of 29 Old 10-02-2009, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks He doesn't take medicaid though

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#5 of 29 Old 10-03-2009, 11:02 AM
 
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It will be very difficult to find a ped who takes medicaid who is also non-vax friendly I'm afraid .

Is paying out of pocket for visits an option for you?
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#6 of 29 Old 10-03-2009, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Natsuki- Paying out of pocket IS an option if this doc doesn't work out for us.

Not Vaxing means not going for all of the "well-baby" visits. I do take DD in for growth/weight checks periodically, but when I do that I take her to an immediate care center anyways so we're in and out and they don't care for anyone else's records. And it's cheap.

DD did have some issues around 6 months which I believe were vaccine related, she had sudden onset hydrocephalus that miraculously cleared up after time and no vaxes. She was at Children's for that, no one confirmed it was vax related just that it was very "mysterious". Being 17 years old at the time, they were almost accusing me of hurting her. Anywho, that's another story

SO.. I don't mind paying OOP if this doctor doesn't work out. We're still covered under Medicaid, and they haven't said anything to us when we've not done wellbaby checks before. Or are the well-checks gov't mandated? Either way, if I've got an exemption letter, and she's not sick, there's not much they can do to force me to take her to the doctor, KWIM?

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#7 of 29 Old 10-03-2009, 04:47 PM
 
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I just wanted to second Dr. Minkus. He is wonderful - supports extended breastfeeding, home birth, trying alternatives before giving meds, and supports a parent's decision not to vax. He is very gentle and loving. I would never bring my kids elsewhere!!

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#8 of 29 Old 10-03-2009, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wonder if he'd even take a patient who was self pay. hmm.

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#9 of 29 Old 10-04-2009, 01:52 AM
 
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We see Dr. Casaclang at Advocate Blackhawk and Halsted. While he is not supportive of non vaxing he doesn't really give me any problem about it besides asking me if I have any questions about it that I would like to discuss with him. Aside from that though he's super nice and both of my kids really like him. Oh and we've also never taken our now 17 month old in for a WBV and he's never said a word about it. He's also not pushy about giving antibiotics and is more than willing to go over any concerns you may have with the course of treatment he would like to give with your child's illness. One other thing is he's a Family Practice doctor, not a pediatrician so that may be why he is so lax about the vaccines too.
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#10 of 29 Old 10-04-2009, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Awesome DD has never had antibiotics and her old doctors have basically thrown perscriptions in my face. I just told them, "I won't be filling these". I nearly did the one time a resident gave her an ear infection by digging in her ear for 15 minutes.. this was at a different hospital.

Anyways, ANOTHER QUESTION!! Or a few..
When I tell them I don't want to vax, do I let them know the real reason, exactly why (which are personal beliefs) or do I tell them that it is for religious reasons, which we will need to use for school? Just wondering I've also got DD on medicaid and I know they have some sort of vaccine program going on, but.. well could someone help explain all of this? please and thank you!

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#11 of 29 Old 10-04-2009, 01:42 PM
 
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There is also Homefirst (Dr Eisenstein). They are vax friendly for sure. They have 3 offices in the suburbs. I don't think they take Medicaid, but I'm sure they accept cash. I actually thought about traveling down there to see them (and it's 90 minutes south on a good traffic day for me).

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#12 of 29 Old 10-04-2009, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks i'll keep them in mind as well.

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#13 of 29 Old 10-04-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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Eva - Casaclang has been our family medicine doc for a couple of years and we do really like him. He is wonderful about not overprescribing meds. Have to give him tons of credit for that.

I think my only concern is waiting in the office there - we've both experienced very long wait times. How has your experience been with that? And you said he's not supportive of non vaxing - are you doing any? We'll probably be on a selective & delayed schedule.

I'd like to hear more about using Casaclang as a ped, you can PM me or post here if you think of anything. TIA!

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#14 of 29 Old 10-05-2009, 12:55 AM
 
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Windy City Mama, I'm seeing you all over MDC today!!!For the last four years, we've been with Mariela Cano *and* Dr. Minkus.* I really adore both of them, though when you're on Medicaid, Cano is obviously preferible.*
When we've gone to Minkus (i.e., when DS2 was a newborn), we've paid out of pocket.* Your form of payment doesn't matter to them.* Just be forewarned--it's really *expensive*!!!* Also, it doesn't matter what reason you give for not vaxing to the pediatrician.* The religious exemption thing is only relevant to a school, institution, etc.* We were very honest in conversations about not vaxing/selectively vaxing with Cano and Minkus.* What I love about both of them is that there was no judgment in their responses.Good luck to you!
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#15 of 29 Old 10-05-2009, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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ihathi- thanks Yep, loving this site, haha. I've been researching things online for other matters, and am constantly poking in! Anyhow.. thank you very much for the response about talking to the doctor about not vaxing. Like I said, DDs old pediatrician was just plain rude and would bug her eyes out at me and ask me repeatedly, and at EVERY visit, why, explain myself, why would I want to potentially harm my child (to which I replied, "EXACTLY!"), etc. The last visit DD had with her, I was very firm and told her that we had explained ourselvs already, and that she neednt ask again.

I will post back in November when DD has her appointment

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#16 of 29 Old 10-05-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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Eva - Casaclang has been our family medicine doc for a couple of years and we do really like him. He is wonderful about not overprescribing meds. Have to give him tons of credit for that.

I think my only concern is waiting in the office there - we've both experienced very long wait times. How has your experience been with that? And you said he's not supportive of non vaxing - are you doing any? We'll probably be on a selective & delayed schedule.

I'd like to hear more about using Casaclang as a ped, you can PM me or post here if you think of anything. TIA!
We are not doing any vaccines, our oldest did have up to 12 months and our youngest has not had any at all. As far as I can tell he would be fine with doing a selective/delayed schedule. We've been seeing him for 3 years now and only twice has the vaccine talk come up, once b/c we had to get Van's school physical done and then again when we brought Ian in for his 2 month WBV. Both times he was very nice about it and did not pressure us that much about getting the shots. His nurse cracked me up though, when I told her we weren't getting shots done on my oldest she goes "Oh thank god, I really didn't want to get kicked again today." In regards to the wait times, yeah its usually a long time but I'm willing to put up with it since I'm always able to get a same day appt and he's not a crazy drug pusher lol.
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#17 of 29 Old 10-05-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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Eva, thanks for your response. The wait times give me pause, but as DH will be the one going mostly, I will see what he thinks. One more, LOL. See it's just easier talking to you than 'interviewing' him.

How is he with circ/no-circ?

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#18 of 29 Old 10-05-2009, 09:18 PM
 
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Eva, thanks for your response. The wait times give me pause, but as DH will be the one going mostly, I will see what he thinks. One more, LOL. See it's just easier talking to you than 'interviewing' him.

How is he with circ/no-circ?
Neither one of my guys is circed and he's never tried to retract either of them. From what I remember I think he just moved Ian's foreskin slightly just to make sure that everything was aligned correctly but he by no means tried to retract him. Oh and as far as I can tell he's breastfeeding friendly too. We've never had a huge conversation about it but he knows Ian is bf and has never said anything bad about it lol.
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#19 of 29 Old 10-08-2009, 06:19 AM
 
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Just came on to add that I got DD in to see Mariela Cano at Ravenswood (IL Masonic). DD already sees her pedi there (whom I've had horrible problems with as far as delaying even varicella for her, she just gives you that "glare" and asks 10,000 times about why not and why would I want to risk this and that and this and.. yeah). So I'm pretty happy with all of this I'll let you all know how it goes, it is in mid november.
Dr. Cano won't give you trouble for not vaxing. She might recommend HIB & pc but she will not pressure you because as she knows, it is your right to choose.
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#20 of 29 Old 10-08-2009, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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lucifugous- thanks Do you see Dr. Cano? Anything else you could tell me about her?

ETA: in that post, I meant just plain ol' not vaxing against varicella- not delaying it.

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#21 of 29 Old 12-26-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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Help, help, help!!!

We had our baby and Casaclang couldn't get us in for 3 weeks. Ettner is out of the office until after January.

I feel so hopeless. Our MW & nurse are pretty insistent he be seen within the first week, which is ticking by fast with the holiday. Has anyone heard of a 'ravenswood clinic'? Is that this place?

http://www.yelp.com/biz/advocate-fam...nswood-chicago

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#22 of 29 Old 12-26-2009, 08:08 PM
 
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We went to Homefirst when we lived out there. They were AWESOME. I have rarely been treated with so much respect by a doc, and when the kids were the patients...they talked to the KIDS as the patients. Directly, like they were real people and everything. So love Homefirst, and SO miss them since moving. The billing dept also taught me some GREAT skills that have come in very handy since.

First, if they don't take your insurance (and state insurance won't cover Homefirst) talk to the office manager (for small practices) or billing dept (for large ones). Explain to them you are paying out of pocket and ask if they will give you a rate. They will almost always charge you a discounted rate for service. It's usually equal to whatever the cheapest rate they give any insurance. If they don't take any insurance, they will figure out what they're comfortable with. They would much rather make less off you than lose you completely...and if they're worth their rates, they will be horrified that your only other option is a someone willing to take state insurance (no kid could possibly need the amount of drugs state docs shell out).

Second, not every doc in a practice has the same rate. Find out what each doc's rates are. At Homefirst, it ranges from around $80 to around $150 per visit depending on the doc, if I remember correctly. Other offices we've been to often have quite a variance as well.

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#23 of 29 Old 12-27-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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Carson, You could go pretty much anywhere for your first week's visit. There are no vaccines given then, and even if there were, you could just say you aren't doing it right now.

You have until the 8 week appt to find someone to work with. Even longer, if you want. I still hadn't found a good doctor for my first little one at the 8 week mark. I think it took till 4 months. So you have time. Just refuse the vaccines they offer, and if they kick you out of the practice, who cares? Just find another one.

Good luck. I loved Dr. Minkus and would still go if he wasn't so darned far away. I have a doctor for the kids now who doesn't bother me about vaccines, even though he doesn't love that I don't vaccinate.

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#24 of 29 Old 12-28-2009, 05:44 PM
 
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Thank you - I felt so lost (and hormonal ) when I posted, but your perspective is right.

Dr. Ettner's office was extremely accomodating and helped us put it in perspective too. She understood that we had a HB and we hadn't been seen by a doctor yet. The doc was out of the office this week, but they let us come in to see his resident, just to give him a quick once over and weight check. We'll go back there next week for a more formal visit.

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#25 of 29 Old 12-28-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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Carson, I'm a HB'er, too, and we see Dr. Lisa Winters-Smith. She is now located in U of C's hospital on the pediatric floor. Bummer of a location, but she's great. At 4, dd, has declared she is ready for a shot, so, we're finally going to selectively vax her. Today (at ds's 9 mos visit and he's no vax) we chatted about this and she only recommended MMR and DTP for our 4 year old. Even out of that dd won't be getting all of those and our dr. is fine with it.

She also is great with regard to co-sleeping (only ever asked if wanted help getting dd out of the bed and said nothing more when I said no) and breastfeeding. She totally acknowledged that dd's bought with colds last winter was due to her weaning at 34 mos (which was a few mos before the colds started). Lastly, she is a mama herself of a 4 year old and 8 year old.

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#26 of 29 Old 01-01-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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I highly recommend not discussing parenting styles with your ped. Docs are trained in medical stuff (official technical term) not parenting and thus the parenting stuff they espouse is just opinion. I have 4 kids - my oldest is 10 and I have just learned to answer the questions about eating and sleeping, "He eats everything" or "She is sleeping great. I have no complaints". Or as to where, "I have a co-sleeper attached to my bed she/he sleeps there." Those are not lies and usually end the conversation. If they ask, "any behavioral concerns or questions?" Nope!

I understanding vaxing is another issue, but if you find a ped that tolerates your delaying or no-vaxing -- there is no *need* to find a doc that agrees with everything you do. I do understand the desire though, I guess I have long given up the hope of finding that perfect doc.

I just have found having a doc local to me in case of illnesses and onstaff at a local hospital in case of emergencies very important -- and I can go to my support groups for the rest.

I wish you the best!

ETA: I have yet to find a ped that is not supportive of breastfeeding -- that is living in 4 different communities and going to 9 different pediatrician practices. But I am not one to care or listen if someone (anyone) criticizes breastfeeding. I find it very useful to belong to a local AP group for support or a local LLL group -- docs also do not learn about breastfeeding in school -- they need to learn on their own (e.g. a mom) or pick it up somewhere. So I just don't bother discussing breastfeeding successes or problems or concerns with them.
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#27 of 29 Old 01-20-2010, 07:31 PM
 
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We see Dr. Ettner and have been very happy with him. DD has seen him since birth, and DH switched to him from his GP. I see him for everything except midwife/OB stuff since I like having a female midwife for that stuff.

Initially we weren't sure whether we were going to do no-vax or delayed vax. He never once pressured us or even brought it up. But he did answer all our questions and took a lot of time to converse with us about it, which we really liked. Basically, whatever you decide, he'll honor your wishes and treat you with respect.

He's been great about fitting us on the weekends when waiting until Monday would have been difficult. He also coached us through fixing a paianful case of 'nursemaid's elbow' over the phone (very helpful). And he's good about offering natural alternatives ("Just squirt some breastmilk on that!"). And for what it's worth, he delivered four of my doula's kids back in the 70's when he was still doing homebirths. Just a great guy.

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#28 of 29 Old 01-20-2010, 10:16 PM
 
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When we were in the city we saw Brian Morse (near Foster/Pulaski) but his partner was icky, he was great, very parent-choice and supportive.

We LOVED http://uillinoismedcenter.org/Find_a...tillerman.html

She had homebirths, coslept with all of her kids, and EBF her youngest until after age 3.

She takes medicaid (for the OP) and never questioned not vaxing. She's in the James Jordan boys and girls club near the United Center.

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#29 of 29 Old 01-22-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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wow, she sounds like an awesome doc. thanks for the heads up!
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