Random Rants

The Importance of Choosing the Right Pediatrician: My Story!

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I have a large lists of posts that I should be writing right now, but I wanted to share an experience we had yesterday instead. 
Lil’ Pea has been sick for nearly a week.  She has the horrible cough, chest congestion and everything in between.  As a mother, I do my best to monitor the situation on my own and nurse her back to health in hopes that she becomes better.  However, this time her condition just kept worsening.  She was coughing uncontrollably and she was having a hard time breathing.  So I called my doctor office, Dr. William F. Dinicola, and was told that there were no appointments, then turned away.  The doctor was not on premise, however the PA was and was seeing patients. So the next day (Friday) I called again in an attempt to get her in to see the PA…again turned away!  I was told that they were no longer seeing patients!  It’s Friday now and they want me to go to the pedi-center.  Now let me just fill you in that the pedi-center is an emergency room of sorts and with emergency rooms comes many, many sick children, a 5+ hour wait and $150 co-pay rather than a $35 copay!
So I decided to be proactive and just head down to the doctors office.  I figured if they could see how sick she was that they would certainly slip her in real quick.  After all, we interviewed doctors 5 years ago when Big Pea was born and have loyally went to this doctor for the last five years.  That should get us some kind of bonus points, right?  WRONG!
I walked in the doctor’s office at 4pm.  The office was empty!  Not a single soul in sight and they were still open for an hour.  So I thought…hmmmm, perhaps they had some cancelations…YAY!  So I explained our situation, who I was, etc.  I was told that I did not have an appointment and that I would NOT be seen!  Not only was I told this, but I was told this by a woman with a very scrunched face who was ready to put her dukes up and fight!  So I responded “your doctors office is empty, you still have an hour left before you close and I clearly have a very sick child, for goodness sake have mercy on our souls”!  Again, I was turned away and told that I would NOT be seen!  So I very kindly said” I’m going to sit here until my child is seen”!  We pay alot of money for insurance and I have dumped thousands and thousands of dollars into this office for the last five years and now I need you!  I kindly stated that I would wait until they were done with their paperwork or whatever it was that they were doing that was so much more important than my child, and then we would slip in and slip out.
I was not prepared for what happened next!  THEY CALLED SECURITY!  So picture it…Here I am with a sick two year old in one arm, a five year old in the other, I want to see a doctor and I feel like I’m trying to see the pope, and then I get security called on me!  Can you imagine?  I obviously left before security came as I don’t think it would be appropriate for my children to see a situation played out like that.  My ultimate goal is to protect them and keep them safe and I don’t think that situation would have been conducive to my goal!
We had no other option but to head over to the pedi-center, while my doctor’s office was still open for business and empty, mind you.  My husband waited at the pedi-center for hours, while I kept Lil’ Pea home and then called us over when it was our turn.  Turns out she has Bronchitis and they think she may be developing asthma.  She was given a large concoction of cocktails including a mask with albuterol. 
I’m sharing this story today because the large majority of you who come here are parents and I want to stress the importance of finding the right pediatrician for your children!  For parents, when a child is sick, the world stops and you would think that pediatricians, being in the field they are in, would understand this!  Not all do!  Not only do I believe that you should interview your pediatrician but you should speak with the office staff.  The office staff is a big part of who you are going to deal with when you visit your child’s doctor and if they are unpleasant, then you should move on!  We have known for years that our doctor’s office staff was crap, but we stayed because we loved the doctor so much. It seems that when the cat is away, the mice will play!
On top of the pediatrician and office staff, your also going to want to check out the nurses.  Some are delicate and some are not so delicate.  It’s important for little ones that they are met with a welcoming environment and that they are not afraid of anyone.  The doctor’s office can be a scary place for kids and there needs to be cheery people jumping up and down because they are SO excited that your children are there! 
 Yes, these magical places do exist, you just have to do your homework and if you do, I promise that security will not become involved!
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