Jan 26, 2010

Week 37: Pediatrician Visit

So, around week 35 I guess, my doctor game me a list of Pediatricians in the area and told me to go ahead and pick one out. I know that it's important to find a Pediatrician that I like, especially considering how often I would be seeing them that first year, but I don't really feel comfortable doing 'interviews.' I mean; do you really think they would say something so far off that you would think "Oh, they are a bad doctor who I don't want my kid going to"??!!

We narrowed down the list and then decided on a group practice (I like group practices!), who my OB/GYN seems to really like anyways. They had a decent webpage (some info seemed old, but it was actually helpful I thought) and looking at 'reviews' online, they seemed good. So, I called to set things up (That seemed to be what we had to do, right?). However, the nurse wouldn't just set us up; I had to come into their monthly group introduction. Ok, ok - I suppose a group meeting would be ok...

Actually - the group meeting was great! There was quite a bit of people there which surprised me- maybe 9 couples or so. We sat together in their lobby and met with one of the Doctors from the practice. We got a packet of information to start off, with pamphlets about "Your and Your Pediatrician" and baby sleeping and the like, as well as their offer information like expected visits for the first 6 years (with a list of shots and other tests) their hours, a breast-feeding record sheet, list of accepted insurance, articles about nursing/shots/breastfeeding and support groups.

The doctor was very candid with the group of us and went over the practice and basic info, then what happens at the hospital- which I found SUPER helpful! Apparently, we don't even 'register' with a doctor before going to the hospital- we just show up and give the hospital a name and they call the doctor to us... very causal, lol. But, the doctor went over the tests, how long the hospital stay is, the fact that because most people leave within 36 hours, they have the babies come back into the office at 4 days instead of waiting 2 weeks (like he said- how can they REALLY tell how the baby is after such a short period of time?), shots given at birth, how they make their round and the like. It was very helpful!

The next FABULOUS thing to learn was that this practice has their own nursing consultant on staff who is available to help us with breastfeeding. And she sometimes can even come to your home, if need be! She also heads a few support groups - a great plus to know it is there, even though I'm usually not inclined to use those type of services.

The other good thing, although I'm sure many offices have something similar - they have Walk-in Sick Clinic hours in the early morning every day and on Saturday. This is nice because sometimes I'm sure you just want to come in and SEE someone, rather than call. Oh! On that note - the calls during office hours are free- after hours it is $15 unless we just saw them that day. And he was very good about explaining what happens on Sundays for sick patients. Basically, he said that if it's something normal, they will give the regular advice or set up an appointment. If it's something that is more serious - like an ear infection- he doesn't like to prescribe anything without seeing the baby (makes sense to me). However, since it's Sunday and they are mostly doing hospital rounds, they will usually send you to the emergency room instead of seeing the baby themselves. That way you get the most immediate care. I think that makes sense - he says sometimes they can stop by the office to see the baby, but in most cases it's better for everyone to just go to the emergency room for the most immediate care.

So, I was overall pretty happy with the office visit and the doctor we met with. The office itself was clean and had all the 'normal' stuff that the articles and webpages online say they should have: separate areas for sick and non-sick patients (they also normally do sick patient appointments in the morning and 'well' visits in the afternoon), clean, etc.

Yay! We have our doctor! And if we decide we don't like the practice; we'll switch to someone else ;)


  1. This is a very frustrating part for me because I'm with Kaiser. How can you decide who is an awesome doctor based off of a questionnaire they all answer?! So I decided I'm going to let them assign me one and IF I hate them just keep changing until I find one I like. I changed my OB at about 16 weeks because she was AWFUL so I figure I just have to pay attention and make sure I and Jackson are getting what we need!

  2. @ Bree - Yea, my basic thoughts are that most doctors 1. will seem fine at primary visits and you can't really figure if you like them until you have gone a few times and 2. I think most doctors are fine; in my experience there have been only a few I didn't like (having said that- there are more doctors I don't like in my area than in CA!).
    My mom has Kaiser too and actually has had good luck with her doctors, although it may also be because she was seeing so specific doctors (for her heart). You're in Northern CA too, right? She's in East Contra County so maybe she is lucky...
    That sucks that you had to change your OB - good luck with the pediatrician! Were they at least able to give you a packet of basic 'first year' info regarding shots and the like? I did find that helpful, even if I don't stay with the doctor I have now.

  3. I think the most important criteria for baby's doctor are as follows:
    1) provides support for breastfeeding and has knowledge of issues, so s/he doesn't recommend formula at the first sign of trouble
    2) keeps him or herself up-to-do on research and recommendations
    3) respects that YOU are the parent and that S/HE is the consultant, not the boss. The third one is really important with regard to deciding on timing for immunizations. (I strongly encourage you to read The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears and especially consider delaying the Hep B vaccine -- a newborn baby does not need to be vaccinated against an STD.)

    Personally I think the "well baby" visits are pointless and a waste of time/money. YOU know your baby and will know when s/he is sick or something is wrong. Many people rely on doctors for parenting advice, but they are not parenting experts, and often give advice that is not in line with medical facts, especially with regard to sleep and breastfeeding issues.

    I chose a family practice doctor for myself and my son, and have been very happy with that choice. Our doctor is young and recently had a baby herself. She continued to breastfeed when she went back to work, so I knew she would be knowledgeable and supportive of nursing (which she absolutely has been). Maybe think about a family practice doc as an alternative to a ped?

  4. @Rebecca - thanks for your comments; the doctor actually did a really good job in the visit of going over the immunizations and what he considers most important, what can wait and that, in the end, they support us if we decide to not get any. (he said they have patients that do that) With the ones that don't have any, he just said they treat illnesses more agressive so that it doesn't get worst...

    The 'well baby' visits are for the shots and then the normal yearly visits - I go to the doctor once a year, so I don't see anything wrong with these.

    The practice actually specializes in Peds and Adolesents and so, as mentioned above, as long as we are comfortable with them, I see no reason now to change. I figure that we will change after awhile- if anything because we will probably move from this area and/or home - the kids can then move to my doctor or we'll find a new one.

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