Part of our role as a parent is to make decisions for our kids until they are able to make decisions for themselves. It’s hard to make decisions for someone else when the outcome (good or bad) is your responsibility. It is our job as parents to advocate for our child, especially when it comes to their health. Part of advocating for your child’s health is finding the right pediatrician. After all, you want to make the right decision for both you and your child, as this doctor will be an important part of their lives into early adulthood. If you have a pediatrician that both you and your child are comfortable with, great! However, if you are questioning whether your child’s pediatrician is a good fit, then it may be time to switch providers.
Here are 5 signs that you need to find a new pediatrician:
- They can’t remember the sex of your child
If your child’s doctor can’t remember basic information, such as the gender of your child, then you probably should find a new one. Although doctors see a bunch of patients in one day, the fact that they can’t remember a child’s gender is a clear sign that they didn’t even take two seconds to glance at your child’s chart.
*If the pediatrician can’t respect you and your child enough to review basic information on their chart, then I would start looking for a new doctor.
- They ask you the same basic question repeatedly
During every appointment, your doctor will ask you some basic questions, in an attempt to understand why you need their services. In my book, asking a patient as many questions as possible is a good thing; but what isn’t good, is asking the same basic question multiple times. For example: being asked your child’s age more than once, especially since its already in the child’s file.
*If a doctor is asking a patient a basic question multiple times, that is a clear sign that they aren’t listening to their patient.
- They question why your child is on a medication that they prescribed to them
Imagine taking your child to the doctor for an infection, and they prescribe your child medication. Then, a week later, you take them back for a follow-up and while the doctor is going over the child’s medication list, they become completely baffled. The doctor looks at you and asks “Who prescribed this to (insert child’s name here)?” Out of curiosity, you ask “Why?”. The doctor then responds, “Because they don’t need it.” Your obvious response is to remind them that THEY were the doctor that prescribed the unnecessary medication.
*If this has ever happened to you, then QUICKLY find your child a new pediatrician.
- They ask if your healthy 2-year-old has started eating solids even though your child has chunks of food vomit on them
A few days ago, I took my eldest daughter to the doctor because she was vomiting A LOT; she couldn’t keep any food down. While there, they asked me basic questions like “What did she eat?” and “What does she eat on a daily basis?” After I had given them a snapshot of her diet, the doctor decided the best course of action would be to give her some liquids, then some soft foods, to see if she could tolerate it. The doctor walks out of the room, then comes right back in to ask me if my almost-2-year-old has started eating solids. Outwardly, I just said “yes” and nodded. In my head, I was thinking how DUMB that question was when we just discussed her diet of SOLID foods, not to mention that she had chicken chunks on her clothing from her dinner.
*If the pediatrician’s deductive reasoning skills are obviously lacking, then I suggest you find a new doctor.
- They make you second-guess your parental choices
Vaccinations, breastfeeding, allowing your child junk food—these choices are OURS to make as parents. Raising a child is already an emotional rollercoaster. The last thing parents need is a pediatrician telling them they are raising their child wrong, due to the pediatrician having their own agenda. My daughter’s ex-pediatrician lectured me, on many occasions, about giving my daughter nuts so that she wouldn’t develop an allergy. I told him that I was hesitant to follow his advice because nut allergies run in my family. Yet, he was still pushy about it and kept trying to discredit my concerns with research. Eventually, I would go against my maternal instinct; I gave my daughter some nut butter and it resulted in a trip to the ER.
*If your pediatrician is making you second-guess your parental instinct, then I highly suggest finding a new provider.
Please note: These signs and suggestions are based on experiences that I have had on my parenthood journey.