Tag Archives: pediatrician

How to Know if You Have the BEST Pediatrician

We found out that our pediatrician is moving last month and though I am totally crushed, I (initially) completely under-reacted. Here’s why: I first found out at Cora’s 6 month well-checkup and the nurse just casually mentioned it as I was trying to undress Cora to be weighed and avoid getting spit up on. It was simply thrown in there amongst “How’s Cora today? Is she still just taking —-? How’s she sleeping? Do you want to schedule your next appointment today?” She also asked, “Is there another doctor here you would like to switch to or do you want Cora’s records sent somewhere else?” I immediately answered with the name of another doctor in the office (one who had seen Cora when she was in the hospital and who I’d spoken to on the phone when Dr. W was unavailable). I hardly thought about it. It was just another answer to one of the nurse’s many “routine” questions. Even after Cora’s exam, when Dr. W asked if the nurse had mentioned to us that she was moving, I nonchalantly just said, “Yes”.

I know that this lack of reaction was only due to being distracted by the stress of the appointment and trying to remember all the things the doctor and I had discussed while wrangling a tired, squirming baby. And I know this because I most definitely reacted later. After Mr. F and I got Cora in bed that night and I was telling him about our day, it hit me. I panicked! Thoughts like “But Dr. W knowsCora!!… She actually cares!… She can’t leave! She’s the only doctor who doesn’t think I’m paranoid! What if our next doctor is a jerk?… Maybe we should just move to Michigan too…” were running through my head. I actually know our new doctor is an excellent physician and will take great care of Cora, but we are going to miss Dr. W so much!! She has been so good to us and has gone above and beyond to make sure Cora has been as healthy and happy as possible. There is also just something about knowing that your child’s doctor has known them since day one that makes you feel safe… Anyhow, I’ve started to feel really terrible for my complete lack of reaction at the office that day. Dr. W really has been excellent and has gone WAY out of her way to take care of my sweet girl and I feel like a simple “WHAT?! NO! you can’t leave!!!!” along with a slough of tears would have at least shown her we appreciated her… But in all seriousness, I wish that I would have taken a moment to really thank this wonderful woman for all that she has done for my daughter and I before she left. If you have an amazing pediatrician you should thank them now, before you find out they’re moving and it doesn’t even register until it’s way too late.pediatrician

Here are some things that I saw in Dr. W that I thought made her great, and things that will let you know if you have the best pediatrician (second to Dr. W)

  1. She greeted and interacted with both me and my daughter! It may seem silly for me to have expected this considering my daughter is only 6 months old and often oblivious to her surroundings, but I think this is essential to a good pediatrician. You aren’t there for you and neither is the doctor! You’re there for your kid and their doctor is {hopefully} going to interact with them and develop a relationship with them so that they feel more comfortable and cared for in what can sometimes be a scary environment.
  2. She took the time to answer all of my questions (and ask if I had any). As a new mom, I was quite overwhelmed by all of the things I had to remember about caring for my newborn baby but Dr. W was so helpful and so patient with my two million questions. This is so so so important! You are absolutely going to have questions, I imagine even if you’re a seasoned mom of six, and you need to feel comfortable asking them.
  3. She called to check on us!!! This obviously is not practical or needed all of the time. However, a couple of weeks after an appointment where Dr. W and I discussed some issues with baby Cora that were worrying me, a call from her to check on us meant the world! It was so comforting to know that she was not only giving meaningful and thought-out advice in the office, but she thought about us when we weren’t there.
  4. She genuinely loved my baby. I think every doctor has a few patients who they love in particular, or who are special to them, but I think a mark of an excellent doctor is that they genuinely love all of their patients! Dr. W treated Cora and I both with what I believe to be genuine love from the very beginning. We first met her when she visited Cora in the hospital and I could tell in that moment that she had a love for both me and my new baby. I could also feel at our last appointment (even amidst my lack of emotional response to her leaving) that she was sad to be leaving and was going to miss us.
  5. She remembered what we had discussed and how Cora had been doing at her last appointment. Yes, I know doctors take notes and probably review old ones quickly before each appointment but Dr. W went beyond that and the best pediatricians do. She would always bring up previous conversations that we had had and ask how things were going. Not only did she remember Cora’s reflux but that we had planned to go on a certain trip or that I had gotten a speeding ticket before our last appointment. Every time she recalled something from before, it reaffirmed to me that she really listened to the things I said and that Cora’s care meant more to her than just keeping someone alive and getting a check.
  6. This one is big… she listened to (and cared about) my personal wishes and goals as a parent!!! This is major!!!! Here’s an example of how Dr. W did this: Because of Cora’s extensive list of possible allergies and all of the foods I was having to cut out of my own diet while breastfeeding, Dr. W suggested maybe switching her to a hypoallergenic formula. I had, and still have, the goal to breastfeed for at least a year and expressed that to Dr. W. And she dropped it! Forever! Instead of bringing up the formula over and over, which sometimes would have probably been a better choice for us, she helped me find solutions and suggest ideas to help make breastfeeding work. Because that’s what I wanted. Because I’m the mom! How amazing it was to feel validated and supported! Dr. W could evaluate Cora’s health and provide for her in ways that I couldn’t (because I didn’t go to ten years of school!) but I always felt like she did that within the bounds of what I felt comfortable with.

Even though I’m totally sad Dr. W is leaving, I am so grateful that we got her while we did. Have any of you had awesome, amazing pediatricians? How did you pick them? (we got really lucky with Dr. W) What things about them really made them great? Tell me all about it!