PICK A PERFECT PEDIATRICIAN

I love my pediatrician. She is awesome. She is smart, she is funny/snarky, she is a ball to be around, she didn’t flip out on me the time Diddy got into Daddy’s pill box and ended up having her stomach pumped, and she has never once told me she’s concerned my kids are too small.

If she weren’t so geographically-undesirable, we’d probably hang out.

So there’s the first thing I would tell you new moms out there:

1. PICK A PEDIATRICIAN WHO IS CLOSE TO YOUR HOUSE.

Like I said, I love my ped. You know what I hate? Driving across town to see her. All the time. Not because my kids are constantly sick or I am an overreacting helicopter nut of a Mom — in fact, I’ve gone the other direction COMPLETELY, I almost NEVER take the kids to the doctor when I should because she is SO FUCKING FAR AWAY — but because small kids, at least in the first year of life, tend to have monthly well-baby visits that lo-and-behold your insurance might actually cover.

After that, they go every eight weeks or three months or so until they turn 2.

And then you have another baby, and the whole thing starts all over again, and if you keep breeding like I did you will spend a lot of time dragging your kids to the pediatrician.

THAT IS A LOT OF DRIVING ACROSS TOWN.

And like I said, I love my ped too much to leave her, so I’m stuck.

DON’T GET STUCK DRIVING ACROSS TOWN.

2. PICK A PEDIATRICIAN YOU LIKE TO HANG OUT WITH.

Again, you’re going to be seeing a lot of her. Wouldn’t you rather it be fun?

3. PICK A PEDIATRICIAN OTHER DOCTORS RESPECT.

Here’s how you do that: Ask other doctors. My pediatrician went to school with my internist, who also went to school with both my first and second OBs. They trust each other. I trust them. They practice a brand of medicine I respect, aka THE KIND THAT’S BASED ON A HEALTHY RESPECT FOR AND UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENCE.

You can ask your friends, sure, but your friends motives aren’t always going to be your motives — for instance, your friends may secretly be batshit anti-vaccine nuts, and a) you don’t want to end up going to THEIR doctors and b) you probably don’t want to know that about your friends. I sure don’t. I don’t even want to know that about movie-stars-I’ve-loved-since-I-was-8.

(You wanna hear that story? Diddy and Gaga made friends with the daughter of Crushable Movie Star, over repeated sightings at our local restaurant-where-they-don’t-hate-kids. Finally, they all ended up on the local playground together. Mr. Big(Ideas) and Crushable Movie Star were having a good time, bonding over their love of chunky retro car phones, while Diddy and Crushable Kid were on the slides. Just around the same time Crushable Kid told Diddy “My parents fight a lot” ((PRICELESS!)), Crushable Movie Star told Mr. Big(Ideas) his kids weren’t vaccinated.End of story. We are not friends with Crushable Movie Star.)

Nor would I EVER EVER EVER take my kids to a doctor who didn’t INSIST UPON VACCINATING. I say this having spent my toddler-hood and some of my teenage-years in Kenya and Tanzania, where kids still die from things they could have gotten a shot to prevent. And guess what? THEY DIE HERE, TOO. Pertussis kills, folks. So does measles. And just because you haven’t seen a case of measles at your local supermarket doesn’t mean the kid at the pediatrician’s office sitting in the waiting room next to you didn’t sit next to a kid with measles on his flight back from France last weekend. See how that works? Small world, scary diseases. There’s a reason we invented shots to prevent them. GET YOUR KIDS SHOTS.

3. A “SICK-KID” WAITING ROOM IS NICE.

It’s not a deal-breaker for me, but I am glad my pediatrician now has a separate waiting room to keep the sick kids from the babies getting their basic check-ups.

And that’s basically the extent of what I care about. I know it’s not a long list, but I am one of those people who believes you find people who are smart and trust-worthy, and you let them do their jobs as they see fit.

That said, my pediatrician has a new partner who blogs and tweets — I love this, by the way, my internist does the same thing, he’s awesome — so here’s HER list of good pediatrician interview questions:

Medical Mom’s Interviewing a Pediatrician List

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10 thoughts on “PICK A PERFECT PEDIATRICIAN

  1. Love this. And am not surprised crushable movie star fights with his wife a lot. She’s nuts! I also think twice about going to the pediatrician because of traffic. It’s been an effective form of triage for us.

    • OOh — where? And what’s your last name? And how old are you? (OK, you can email me THAT if you’d like). I often feel that everyone who was there at a certain time KNOWS everyone else …

  2. I’m 27. My family lived in Mugumu, bordering the Serengeti on the west. I moved back to the states in 1993. My dad was a doctor there, so I know a bit about the diseases going on around there! … My mother lived in Tanzania/Kenya/Ethiopia until she was 17 and my Grandpa is a very prominent guy in Tanzania and Kenya Mennonite history. So maybe you’d know his name…

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