Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Good Pediatrician- Top 10

As a Mom of 3 little ones I have come to some conclusions about what separates an ideal pediatrician from a mediocre one. And as a Mom raising my kids in a foreign country I highly value a doctor I can trust. Here is my top 10 list in describing a good pediatrician.

  1. Has a Way with Kids.
    • Anyone can be a pediatrician- but not all pediatricians are good with kids. To me a kid's doctor MUST know how to understand a kid. Our doctor waits on the child to be ready for her touch him/her. Taking the time for the child to become accustomed to her and talking to the child and parent. If the child senses that this doctor is someone who cares about them and can feel that their parent trusts the doctor the child will also feel more at ease. 
  2. Respects the Parent's Fears, Opinions and Choices
    • Having read a lot about vaccines I was not willing to vaccinate according to the government plan. Our first pediatrician gave us a rather hard time about this and I am continually meeting up with doctors who just "don't get it" when it comes to understanding the parent's concerns on this matter. Thankfully the doctor we now have not only respects our opinion, but even supports it! A good doctor is worth searching around for. 
  3. Doesn't Act Like a Know it All
    • You know the feeling you get when you see a doctor is huffy, proud and impossible to talk to. A pediatrician MUST be approachable. Parents need someone they can talk to and ask questions to about their concerns for their child's health. A doctor who scares away questions by their attitude is not the doctor you are looking for. 
  4. Child over Schedule: 
    • A good doctor is willing to set aside the planned vaccine or procedure if they see the child isn't as healthy as they should be. The child's well being is more important than rushing it and a vaccine can wait a week, a month, even more so that the child can be 100% healthy.
  5. Follows Up: 
    • A good doctor in this country ( I don't know about in the US) is concerned enough about the child that they will call you at home to make sure the child is doing alright.
  6. Home Visits: 
    • Here in Latvia all doctors can be expected to pay home visits. If a child is too sick to go to school why should they be going to a public waiting room. I am so thankful for the willingness of doctors to pay home visits in Latvia.
  7. What's Best for the Child. 
    • A good pediatrician will try no matter what to get every child healthy, even if it means inconvenience to the parents. Staying home from kindergarten, hiring a babysitter, and helping kids skip the sick season is ok- if it means health for the child. Encouraging parents to skip vaccines, or wait for another day or see a specialist. A good pediatrician knows their stuff and does it well.
  8. Child Friendly Environment: 
    • The doctor's office, not just their waiting room should make a child feel welcome. Our doctor has toys in her office that make my kids happy to go there. There are cars, and other toys that make them look forward to entering her office. 
  9. Employs Good Nurses: 
    • A good doctor's entire reputation can be tainted by a poor nurse. A nurse should be just as child centered as the doctor so that the first impressions and the details which are taken care of by the nurse are not a torture to the child. A good nurse is positive and knows how to talk to the child to help set them at ease. 
  10. Attitude: 
    • The first time I met our current pediatrician I knew she was a special doctor- she was down to earth, easy to talk to and willing to consider both my child's feelings and mine. Since the day we started seeing her I have been happy and every time my child is sick I rejoice that we have such a great doctor who REALLY cares about my kids and will call me day after day to make sure they are on the mend. A good doctor shows it by who they are not just in the office but even during their off hours. 

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