Time to Find a New Pediatrician

Things that tell me, no, shout to me, to find a new doctor for my kids:

1)  Waiting an hour in the waiting room

Ok, it is one thing to have to wait for your own appointment, but to wait an hour before even seeing the nurse or doctor is excruciating when you have little ones.  Don’t touch this, stop running, give me back my phone, pick up that mess, don’t sit next to the child that is hacking up a lung, don’t tear up the  magazines, blah blah blah. 

I know that every time I visit the pediatrician, I am going to be there for at least 2 hours, which is beyond ridiculous.  I thought that if I was there for the first available appointment (9:00am), that it wouldn’t take as long.  Wrong!  They still didn’t take my copayment  until 9:15 and then was called back there at 9:30.  I finally asked why the heck it takes so long just to be seen, especially since I am the very first person there and it is because they have to verify my insurance.  Every single time I come in, they verify insurance, not before my appointment, but when I show up.  So, my wait time depends on how fast my insurance company answers the phone.  WTF?

2)  Telling me they ran out of vaccines, oh wait….no they didn’t

On one occasion, I took my daughter to the doctor for a shot only visit, so I thought I would be in and out of there.  Silly me!  My appointment was originally at 9am and the doctor’s office called me the day before to see if I could come in at 8:30.  Ok, the office doesn’t open until 9, but I thought ok fine, they were getting an early start that day, so I agreed.  I would be out of there in no time!  I get there and by 9 o’clock, they still haven’t taken my copayment, so I go to the desk trying not to strangle the person and calmly ask what the hold up was.  Oh that is right, had to verify my insurance and guess what?  The customer service line doesn’t open until 9am!  (I’m sure you can imagine what I was thinking!)  Then, I am told that they ran out of the vaccine I was there for, and I received a bunch of  “Oh, I’m so sorry.”  Sorry?!!?  Ok, I couldn’t remain calm any longer.  In an extremely irritated tone I ranted, “Why did you have me come in a half hour early, what was the point?  To wait even longer?  Then to tell me you ran out of a vaccine? You realize this the day of my appointment?  So now I have to come back and sit through this torture again of waiting for you to verify my insurance?  Did it ever dawn on you to verify insurance the day before people’s appointments?  This is ridiculous!!!”  Then comes a stare and a, “I’ll be right back.”  A few minutes later, the lady returned and asked, “So you have regular insurance right?”  In which I responded, “I don’t know what you mean by regular insurance, but I have insurance.”  Then she asked, “So you don’t have medi-cal?”  In which I said, “No, why?”  She then told me, “Oh, well since you have insurance and not medi-cal, we do have the vaccine.”  If ever I wanted to punch someone in the face, it was then, but I refrained myself and just went to the back for my daughter’s shot and got the heck out of there.  I don’t know why it would freaking matter if I had medi-cal or not, maybe some kind of allocation for medi-cal patients, I don’t really care.  I have no idea why they were verifying insurance on the one hand, and then thinking I had  medi-cal on the other.  WTF?

3)  The doctor doesn’t believe in pacifiers

How can you not believe in pacifiers?  It is one thing to say you don’t believe in Santa Claus, but to say you do not believe in pacifiers?  So I guess he believes sleep is overrated cause pacifiers give that extra comfort to help the baby sleep and thus, sleep for the parents.  Pacifiers are a godsend and they work because babies love to suck and this provides a comfort and soothing mechanism for them.  Pacifiers are  mommy’s best friend and we shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about using them.  I told him that I used them for my son and daughter in which he told me that  he didn’t like them because parents need to learn how to soothe their baby in other ways and not take the easy way out.  What?  Being a parent is hard enough and using a pacifier is the easy way out?  I think I looked at him in a confused way because then he said that they are not good for the child because pacifiers delay speech and social interactions.  Yes, if your child always has the pacifier in their mouths, I can see this, but if it is used for what it was designed for, then they are wonderful and do not create problems.  They are not designed to shut the baby up (ok ok, sometimes), but are to help calm the baby down so they can sleep or relax.  My son stopped using his “wa wa” around 2 years old and I am working on my girl to stop.  They both are very social and I can’t “shut” them up even if I tried.  So, WTF?

4)  Staff that doesn’t seem to care much for kids

If you work in a pediatrician’s office or are a pediatrician, you would think that you enjoyed kids.  So when my son says “Hi or how are you doing” please look at him and smile and answer him like he is a person.  He is a person, just a smaller version and one who has better manners.  I thought it was just one particular person that did this, but other times that I have gone I have noticed it is a number of people there.  The doctor I noticed just looks at my children, but doesn’t smile at them or talk to them.  He answers my questions, but that is about it.  I had a different doctor at a different office before, but since we moved, I had to change to this doctor.  The previous doctor and all the staff were so good to my children.  All smiles, giving my son high 5s, talking to them, giving them toys and stickers, and making them feel important.  Now this office, it is get it in and get out.  My daughter on her last visit said “Hi” and gave the nurse the biggest cheesy smile that would even make the Grinch chuckle.  Not this lady.  She just took her weight and pointed to the room to go in.  I thought, oh my God, what the heck is her problem?  She needs to work for the DMV, she’d fit it very well.  This is my last, WTF?

Ok, so thankfully I will be changing insurances next year and thus, a new doctor.  Here is hoping for better doctor experiences in 2012!     

Do you have any other reasons to switch doctors?  I’d like to hear from you!

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  1. December 21, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    oh gosh – this is a pretty funny post …one thing worse than shopping schools is shopping doctors…hope you find a good one soon. I do love going to the doc’s office and the staff all call my child by his name – I love that!

    • December 21, 2011 at 7:35 pm

      I guess some people don’t think common courtesy applies to children, but I disagree. Thanks for reading and your support!

  2. ThatHalfChick said,

    December 21, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    My son hated pacifiers. I always thought babies looked cute with pacifiers, so I would put one in his mouth and take a picture as quickly as I could just to capture the moment.

    I hope you find a better place for your kiddies soon. I don’t want my friend to be disappointed.

    • December 21, 2011 at 10:47 pm

      It took awhile for my girl to get the hang of them, I was about to give up and then she finally loved them. It was such a life saver for me, a lot less crying.

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