Friday, February 5, 2010

Attention All Soon-to-be Pediatricians

Over the last 6 months, Cole and I have seen a number of different doctors, primarily Family doctors and Pediatricians. Some have been excellent while others have been just so-so. Here are some *friendly* reminders for all of you medical students out there (my husband included) thinking about entering ANY specialty dealing with children and their parents (although I refer specifically to mothers, I am meaning either parent):
  • Do not write off 100% of all mothers who may come in the door with a child who *seems* perfectly normal but the mother feels as though something is off. While yes, it is true that many times mothers are wrong, there are plenty of studies that have been done that more than back up a mother's unique intuition when it comes to her child's health and well being.
  • If a mother tells you that since birth her child has cried every day for at least 4 hours each day, PLEASE do not simply say "Have you tried holding them? You know, some babies just need to be bounced." This will NOT go over well (understatement of the year). And if you, yourself, have experienced something similar with one of your children, you should know never to use a cliche statement like "It is just a phase" or "Eventually they will get over it" to *help* the situation. Muster up as much compassion as you can stand and recommend the Dr. Sears "Fussy Baby" book as well as the Dr. Sears website.
  • When a mother comes early or on time to a routine well-check appointment with her child under two (perhaps even older), do not make them wait for over an hour just to be called back and given a room. Waiting half an hour is fine, but attempting to entertain an infant/toddler for over an hour is quite a skill that not many possess, especially when at the end of the appointment the kid is "rewarded" with a bazillion shots.
  • If a mother comes to her child's appointment prepared with information she has been tracking over a period of weeks or months, at least pretend as though you are interested in the work she has done. Brushing her off as a psycho who reads too much into her child's behavioral patterns will not score you points in the long run.
  • If you do not know anything about breastfeeding (which will be 99.8% of you as this is certainly not a subject that medical school spends any amount of time discussing), PLEASE REFER TO A LACTATION CONSULTANT.
I may sound like a crack-pot, but trust me, by following these simple guidelines you will most certainly increase your billable hours...or whatever you call them (sorry, I am the daughter of a lawyer, not a doctor).

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