How Not To Choose A Pediatrician

When my son was first born and we were still in the hospital he had his first visit with a pediatrician. I was relieved because I was still unsure about how to go about finding him his own Dr. Everyone I had talked to had only told me they went by referrals from friends and family. That wasn’t an option for me at the time so I decided to wait until he was born and go from there. The Dr. who seen him was very nice, kind, gentle, everything you’d expect a Pediatrician to be. He even asked about me and how I was doing with breastfeeding etc. He gave me his card and I discovered he was located directly in the hospital, which to me sounded great. On our next visit we were greeted by a different Dr., one who happened to be the previous Dr’s father. He had a thick accent that my husband had a hard time understanding (My husband is also a foreigner) but I thought he had a lovely bedside manner and he was great with the baby so I didn’t mind seeing him instead and after all they were both related, which is kind of cool. Another great thing is their office was spotless! Unfortunately, after a few visits we were told that they wouldn’t be able to accept our insurance because my son had medicaid.

In our state when it comes to Medicaid you have what they call “straight” medicaid for the first few visits (which almost all Dr’s accept) but then you are forced to pick an insurance company from a list that they provide you. Once you’ve blindly chosen an insurance provider, the only instructions they give you are to go on their website and review their list of doctors. You have to choose one from the list. The list consists only of names, locations, what type of Dr. they are and how long they’ve been in practice.

So.. here I was looking through this list with no idea how I was going to decide. Eventually I came to a conclusion and I chose a woman who had been in practice only 10 years and was located in what I knew was a brand new bldg, not far from where I grew up.

Upon our first visit their I had told my husband I didn’t feel comfortable at this office. He thought I was being silly. I thought it was a little weird that they didn’t ask for very much of our medical history. At the other Dr’s office they were very thorough when it came to that. Then I noticed that all their children’s toys were very old. Not a big deal, but the fact that they looked like they hadn’t been cleaned in about 10 years, to me, was. I wasn’t going to change Dr’s on those facts alone so I waited to see what happened. Well, the nurse came in and she wasn’t very personable to say the least. When she gave my son his vaccinations she seemed a little brutish. The one where they have to squirt it into their mouth was the worst.. she sort of just jammed it in there, of course making him cough etc. I figured maybe I over-reacted a little so I let it go. I was too upset seeing him get his shots to really pay attention to much else.

Our next visit, the same thing happens with the vaccinations except this time she actually bent one of the needles because she jammed it in his leg so hard. Then I also noticed that the actual Dr. didn’t really make eye contact and overall just seemed a little weird to me. She sort of handled the baby like he was a thing and not a baby. She also didn’t really talk to him, which I found strange. He’s a baby! A cute adorable baby.. I don’t care how many you see a day, can’t you say “hi little guy” or something? So anyway, she started giving us stupid advice. I don’t recall what it was now but it was like “parenting 101”. Things even a 14 yr old would pick up on tv. Like “Feed your baby”. Just ridiculous stuff that made me go “wtf?”.

So, you get the picture. I didn’t like the place but I kept with it since we really didn’t have to visit very often.

At our 6 month visit she tells me that I can cut my sons formula/breastmilk down to as low as around 15oz a day! I throw that advice right out the window and start considering that maybe she’s a little stupid. When we were ready to leave I asked when I needed to come back and it was quite a few months in the future so I didn’t bother to make an appt. Then when I got home I realized that they forgot to fill out my sons vaccination card. I called them and they told me to do it myself. I did. Idiots.

3 months pass and I’m sitting here thinking that I’m pretty sure he’s supposed to be going to the Dr. sometime soon. I didn’t get any call, no postcard reminding me, nothing! I’m a first time mom how am I supposed to know when he needs to go? So I call them up and they inform me that he needs his 3rd Hep B vaccination (they think but they’re not really sure what he needs because his records make no sense apparently) and a 9 month check-up so I make the appointment.

So, Tuesday arrives and this is the first time my husband won’t be going with us to the Dr’s because he has to work. No biggie I think because it’s just a quick appointment and 1 shot. I can handle it. We get there, I get get my son undressed as instructed. The nurse tells me that he doesn’t need his Hep B shot after all and wants to know who told me that. We move on. She weighs him and he’s up to almost 25lbs!, 31 inches. Ooh ooh.. and that’s another thing! When they measure him they don’t put him in that measuring device.. nooo.. they just lay him on the paper and make a mark on it and then measure it with a tape. Lame! How cheap. She then basically tries to force me into giving him a flu shot and then tells me I have to sign a waiver since I decided against it. She leaves and tells us the Dr. will be in any minute to just keep him undressed as usual. I let my son play on the floor with the cleanest toy in the room.

1 hour passes and my son is getting tired and cold. I partially re-dress him. The Dr. finally walks in and I make an unnoticeable snide comment about how cold it is in there, while I’m pretending to talk to the baby. Can we say passive aggressive? Haha. She tells me she was held up at the hospital. I notice a frog in her throat when she speaks. Could she be sick I think.. She starts inspecting my son. She doesn’t wash her hands or use gloves. She puts a finger near his mouth to hold it open and look at his teeth. I am still at this point trying to figure out if she is sick or not. I point out a mark that he has on his torso that developed about 2 months ago, that I find really strange and doesn’t seem to be going away. She tells me to “put lotion on it and keep an eye on it”. Hmmm.. I thought I’d been keeping an eye on it for 2 freakin’ months lady! She does all her usual so I’ll just cut to the chase. She tells me to look at my son and distract him. I do. She grabs his testicles as usual saying “One here, good good, one there. good.” Then the next thing I know she says “As you can see he has a small adhesion” and right at that moment I look at what she’s doing. She has his foreskin pulled as far down as she possibly can. I’m sorry to be so graphic but we’re talking about a baby not an adult. His penis “head” is literally purple! He starts to wince and cry. I immediately said “NO NO NO he is not circumcised. You cannot do that! You’re not supposed to do that”. She keeps doing it. She then calmly says “A urologist might have to fix this (the supposed adhesion)” and goes “You’re going to have to realize that you will have to pull this back and start cleaning it or else it will get all gooped up”. Oh my god. I have never wanted to reach out and slap someone upside the head so bad. I controlled myself only because she stopped. Her ignorance was beyond astounding.

I know there are still a lot of American’s who get their children circumcised but she is a Dr. and she is supposed to know how to care for these things. One of the biggest No-No’s when it comes to this is you are NOT to pull back the foreskin. When the child is around 3 or so then you can try to start teaching them to do it for themselves when they are being potty trained or when they can start bathing and caring for their own body. However, I have been told by my husband and other men that I asked that they didn’t start retracting it until at least around age 10 or so. The thing is if you do it too soon it can tear the skin and leave them more open to infections. It is supposed to be connected like that (the adhesion she talked about). Until then and even after you just simply wash it with water and everything is fine! This stupid myth about “Goop” is bs. The only people who have “Goop” there are the ones who don’t bathe!

On top of all this, when it’s over and done she starts talking to me about when he is supposed to have the Hep B vaccine and casually tells me that they forgot to write in that he got his vaccinations last time. HELLO……omg.. wtf. So what if I had not told them? What if I was the stupid one and didn’t know? Would he get double doses of everything?? After that she coughs a few times and I decide that she is definitely ill. She washes her hands and goes out of the room.

As I’m getting my son dressed to leave I look down on the floor and there near the edge of one of the cupboards are loose staples laying on the ground.

I immediately came home and called the insurance company and filed a complaint against her and I plan on writing a letter to someone! I Don’t know who but I will find out.

There is no plus side to this story but thankfully my son or I haven’t come down with anything as of yet and all his “parts” seem to be fine, even though he whined all the rest of that day. I also will NEVER go back to that office. Thank God we are getting Bluecross through my husbands work which will take effect in February. When I go to choose a Doctor this time I won’t act like a timid little mouse and I certainly won’t just pick a name off the list.

I have a few questions for everyone reading this. How did you decide on your child’s pediatrician? and do you think I over-reacted? I certainly don’t think I did but I’m curious as to your opinion.

One Comment

  1. Only 15 ounces of breast milk at six months?! That’s crazy.

    About measuring by making marks on the paper – I think that’s normal. They do that at my doc’s office too.

    The penis thing is just psychotic. Doctors, especially pediatricians, should know not to pull the foreskin back.

    I don’t have any good tips for finding a good doctor. We randomly found a good one on our first try. He’s a family doctor. He did all my prenatal care, delivered our daughter and is now her pediatrician. Maybe the doctor you liked before is covered by the new insurance?

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