Last week I took MJ into the pediatrician for his 3 year well visit. After telling our doctor that we were expecting again, he said, “You know, I’d love to keep seeing the kids but you don’t have to come all this way. I could recommend someone closer to you.”
It sort of caught me by surprise. It’s not that far of a drive really and we’ve been doing it for awhile now. I never thought twice about it because we LOVE our pediatrician. We switched to him when MJ was just a few weeks old and he basically held our hands through a difficult start with MJ and a failure to thrive diagnosis. So it got me thinking….what makes him worth the drive?
From day one our pediatrician listened to us. To all our worries and concerns and never once made me feel rushed or silly. He is so patient. Sometimes this means I wait a little bit at the office, but I don’t mind because I know this means he’s giving all his patients the same great care. It also means I pack snacks and toys! But I know that and I’m okay with it. And I know when it’s my turn, he’ll give me all the time I need and want.
Respects Me As a Parent
He shakes my hand and the start and end of every appointment. It makes me feel as though he truly respects me as a parent and as the top authority on my little guy. I often go in there worrying and feeling insecure and I always leave feeling better. He never makes me feel bad when I bring him in for a fever, a funny bruise or a cough that won’t go away. Most parents are hard enough on themselves, it’s nice to have someone in your corner.
Gives Encouragement Freely
Let’s face it, being a parent is hard and can sometimes feel like you’re in the trenches. Especially in those first few months as a first time parent. It meant a lot to me that our pediatrician praised MJ and praised us for how he was growing and learning. He told us things we were doing well. He smiled, looked us in the eye and gave a virtual pat on the back. I’ll remember those kind words for years to come.
Gentle, Kind and Funny
Like most kids, MJ is never thrilled to go to the doctors, but our pediatrician is so gentle with him. He shows him how things work in his office and explains the things he’s doing. He gets the job done but never forces things. And he has a sense of humor! One time I got a “prescription” for at least 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep and another time he gave us another one for a date night at least once a month.
He is Available
When I call, I can get an appointment. Whether it’s for next week or tomorrow, if we need to be seen, he sees us. When I call off hours I get a calling service, but then our pediatrician calls me back. Sometimes we just talk through the issue and I go in the next business day, other times he’ll see me then. Even if it’s on a Sunday afternoon for that RSV cough that just won’t go away. Because you know….kids don’t just get sick Monday through Friday 8-5.
And you know what? It’s totally okay to change pediatricians if you aren’t happy. We had to do that and we haven’t looked back, it was the best decision we made. When I mentioned the conversation with the pediatrician to my husband, he reacted the same way. Why would we change?