Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bedside Manner

Is it just me, or do doctors nowadays seem too busy to be bothered with being personable? It feels like it's been a LONG time since my girls have had a doctor that really took the time to make sure I had all my questions answered (I miss you, Dr. Wise! With your superb bedside manner, friendly personality, awesome waiting area, papers to take home with measurements and shots given, information sheets for shots...I haven't seen your equal in the last four years...). And what IS it with doctor's offices being COLD too? We've got KIDS people. Come on.

I think any doctor's office that cares for children, should:
- have toys or children's books in their waiting room
- talk TO the kids
- TALK to the parents
- and listen to the parents' input and concerns
- make sure the parents are done talking before you leave the room!

Is that so strange?

So, here's some food for thought. If you were looking for a new doctor and calling around, what would you ask the doctor's office if you could only ask TWO questions? What do you think would be the most telling questions to ask that would help you know what kind of office you were dealing with? What kind of questions would accomplish this without the receptionist having to say, "Um, let me check on that. Can I have your number?" (Which has happened to me, by the way...)

Okay, rant over. But seriously, I would love your input on questions to ask!


  1. Heidi said...
    Oh, I'm curious about the questions! Because I have too many and I hope our doctor never, ever moves away because we adore her. Though we are trying out a new local doctor for the baby and are really liking both partners in that practice, too. We've tried out a few doctors because I think often it's only during the visit that I can see how they interact with my child and decide if we'll keep them or fire them.

    - Open to alternative vaccinations schedules? (As in can I do one per month instead of five billion at once?)
    - Feelings about out of hospital births? (Do they respect midwives or think they're a menace to society?)
    - How quickly get in for sick kid visit? (I want same day, preferably that morning.)
    - View on antibiotics?
    - If I feel my child needs to see a specialist do they give me a hard time or immediately call in the referral?
    - Do they make the effort to speak to my child and ensure they are comfortable with any procedure? Do they sit down and ask me what questions I have? Will they return phone calls themselves when I have questions their nurses cannot answer?
    - Do they give me parenting advice? I go to a doctor for medical advice, not to get their opinions on parenting so I appreciated when my doctor pointed out I have more kids than her (by a lot) and she wasn't going to give me any parenting advice. :)

    I hope you'll find the right fit for your family!
    Brooke said...
    You reminded me how lucky I am to have the doctor I have!

    I would use recommendations. Maybe that isn't helpful, but that is how I found both my OBs, and it really helped.

    I also prefer Family Doctors to Pediatricians. Then they know the whole family better.
    Rae said...
    Woo, I'm interested in the answers, too! I haven't found a great one in the last...oh...2 and a half years?

    I like Heidi's question about alternative vaccination schedules. Actually, reading through her questions, um....DITTO.
    Qait said...
    Yeah, ditto. I can't think of more/better questions.

    ONE reason doctors' offices are always cold is that it keeps things sterile and...well, physically less exciting. True, when it comes to kids, maybe it could be warmer. But it's the same idea behind why patients often wear a hospital gown--it makes them more like patients to the doctor than a friend.
    Am I being too vague? It's prevention of letting anyone be too sexy or get too excited. That's all.

    That's what I learned when I asked (because I was super annoyed at being cold and wearing an ugly hospital flap-of-a-gown).
    Lisa said...
    There are too many doctors out there who became doctors because they were smart, good at science, and wanted the prestige. Sadly, it's rare to have one that really loves people and wants to take care of them. Lame.

    I hated our last pediatrician's office (but had to go to them because of insurance), but LOVE our new one. And I just went off of a recommendation--that really is your best bet. I like the question about getting sick kids in to be seen, and then I would see if you can talk to the pediatrician in person in an interview situation before going there. I've heard that you can do that, and that can help a lot.
    Trishelle said...
    You have a VERY good point. We still mourn the loss of our pediatrician after moving. I actually really like the questions posed by Heidi. In fact, she covered all the ones I was thinking about.
    Jean said...
    I agree COMPLETELY. I love your list of pediatrician must-haves. One time I just asked a receptionist which doctor she preferred, and she told me right away, and I wasn't disappointed. So, sometimes you just have to get the inside information. :-)

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