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my visit to the pediatrician

I have a new grandson--that is the good news.

He lives in Boston with his parents and older brother--that is the bad news from my perspective

I was lucky to be able to spend the first two weeks of his life with him, and the day of my departure was the date of his two-week checkup. I was excited to be going to the pediatrician's office with my daughter and the baby. I love to see pediatricians interact with children, and I enjoy observing how different practices behave in their provision of care. This is the same pediatrician who has cared for the older boy for the past year; someone I "found" through my contacts in the pediatric medical community. He came highly recommended and appears to be locally "famous." Of course when my first grandson moved there I wanted to be sure he had the best doctor possible. My daughter was forced to accept the recommendation of my friends, as she didn't know anyone there with children at that time, and NONE OF THE PRACTICES SHE CALLED WOULD ALLOW HER TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS PRIOR TO SIGNING UP AS A PATIENT. After every visit of my oldest grandson to the pediatrician I heard some things that I didn't really like. No anticipatory guidance given; outright dismissal of the boy's food allergies (evaluated and documented by several physicians here in Roanoke) simply because he was growing well--attesting to my daughter's willingness to severely limit her own diet. After over a year of visits, the pediatrician still doesn't seem to "know" him or remember my daughter. Calls to the office are often met with replies such as: "Your doctor is so busy it is not likely he can call you back."

Hmmm....Not terribly patient and family friendly.

Nonetheless, I was glad to go to the office for this visit. It really seemed unremarkable. We arrived, signed in, and waited for about ten minutes. The waiting room was not crowded, and the front office person was pleasant. In the room, the nurse was appropriate and kind. We learned that he had gained one pound and 5 ounces in his two weeks of life. When the doctor entered he was pleasant, asked a few questions, I introduced myself to him. He seemed impressed that I was Chair of Pediatrics at a NEW medical school, but had never heard of us. He noted a problem that he wanted to treat with antibiotics, and was almost apologetic, when he turned to me to explain his rationale. From an "anticipatory guidance" standpoint, the only thing he said to my daughter was: "So you are putting him to sleep on his back?" He didn't ask where the baby was sleeping, how the older child was dealing with the birth of the baby. Didn't ask anything about the father, plans for child care, or any of the topics I would expect to be covered in the two week visit. We left with a prescription and a follow up appointment.

My daughter turned to me and said: "I am glad you were here. That is the most he has ever said to me."



I would love to hear your experiences, as well as your expectations for what your visit with the pediatrician should include.

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