10 Good Reasons to Fire Your Pediatrician

pediatricianWhen my beloved pediatrician announced he was retiring, I was tempted to go to his house and throw myself on his front steps, begging him to reconsider. It's not just that he was that good, it's that I was terrified of what else I'd find out there. The horror stories parents have shared over the years -- from doctors who never even spoke to their kids to office staff who faked vaccination records -- left me cold.

What truly shocked me wasn't how many parents have had to "fire" their kids' pediatricians but how many parents admitted they were afraid to fire a doctor. Ladies! Gentleman! Coming from a mom who loved her baby's doctor, let me be the first one to tell you that the relationship between a parent and pediatrician has to be "just right." If it's not, it's time to give them the heave ho.

Afraid you might be over-reacting? If anything on this list applies, you're not ... feel free to say hasta la bye bye and find a new pediatrician:

1. She Doesn't Return Your Calls -- It's one thing if you can't get a doc on the phone right away; she's got patients to see. But you should at least hear back from a nurse -- or the doctor herself -- by the end of the day.

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2. He Is Too Old School -- You don't have to be a graduate of Google University medical school to know that a doc who suggests putting bourbon on your teething baby's gums needs to retire.

3. She Treats You Like the Babysitter -- Translating medical jargon to laymen's terms is one thing, but you didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday. You are a mom or dad who deserves to be treated with respect, not like you're the child.

4. He's Rude to Your Babysitter -- Sometimes parents have to send kids to the doctor with another caregiver; it happens. But a doctor who can't respect that needs to wake up.

5. You Can Never Get an Appointment -- Some doctors take on too many patients for their own good. If you're always being turfed to the ER because there are no open appointments, it's time to find someone who WILL see your child.

6. She's Mean to Your Child -- Bedside manner is everything in pediatrics; kids are already stressed going in for shots, and you need someone on your side to calm your kiddo down. If they can't handle that, it's out the door you go.

7. He Has a Dirty Office -- If the waiting room is disgusting, you can only imagine the hygiene behind the scenes!

8. She Doesn't Support Breastfeeding -- It's nice that she will give formula samples if you request it, but if you're refusing it, she needs to take your cue!

9. He Doesn't Listen to You -- You know your kid, and you know when your kid is acting differently. A doctor worth his salt will listen to your concerns and at least test your child to determine if the symptoms you're noting mean something. If not, it's time for a second opinion.

10. She Consistently Mis-Diagnoses Your Kid -- Everyone makes mistakes, but when your kid is being pumped full of antibiotics every few weeks for "ear infections" that turn out to be seasonal rhinitis, it's time switch.

Have you fired your pediatrician? What made you do it?


Image via © iStock.com/Pogonici

baby health


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Graca... Gracalynsmom

 When your pediatrician can't remember your child/children's name's or seem's to be forgetful A LOT.

nonmember avatar Jenny

I am almost at that point with my daughter's current doc. She is 16 months old, and I've been bringing her there since just a couple days after her birth. We have only seen the actual doctor 3 times out of all the appts she's been to; the rest of the time it's a nurse. I know nurses can do well baby exams and answer basic questions, but how are my child and I supposed to build a rapport with a doctor if we never see him? Second issue is wait time. We might get into a room quickly, but then we wait in that room no less than 30 minutes..usually closer to an hour. It doesn't matter how many other patients are in the waiting room. Plus, they are always harping on me about her being "underweight" when I know she is a perfectly normal breastfed toddler with skinny genes.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Jenny-the wait thing irks me too! My dr office has signs posted everywhere saying "if you are 15 mins late be prepared to reschedule", which I understand, i am sure they have been burned in past but why do I have to wait in a little room with my kids for up to 30 mins or more??? That is so irritating cause I cannot entertain a toddler in a grown up room for more than 10 mins, at least in the waiting room there is a kids room where they can play until its time to be seen. I know drs are busy but that makes the visits a little long and by the time the kid is seen he is so done with that day. It's those toddler years that makes this a problem.

nonmember avatar Leigh

@Jenny and Jalaz- The waiting thing gets me too. The usual wait time for us in the exam room is between 45-60 minutes. The last time, it was almost an hour and a half. Our pedi is awesome, but that wait time is crazy. I get that doctors get busy too, but nobody can entertain a toddler in a cramped exam room that long (believe me, I've tried almost everything too)!

belon... belongs2Jesus

our first ped. moved I begged him to stay yes he was that good. His replacement was very green. Our boy came down with a hundred and 3 degree temp (he has major heart probs), He was complaining with his throat we called the doc. The nurse told us she wasn't at all concerned to bring him in the following week. Rushed him to an urgent care center he had strep. The dr at the urgent care sent us to the er because of the danger to his heart. The er doc was very unhappy with the doctor's office bout their lack of concern. Needless to say we got him away from that "doctor"


K8smomma K8smomma

It was her staff that drove us away. They had terrible customer service.

In the end she didn't care enough to keep our child as her patient, no phone call or letter to acknowledge

what happened. So in hindsight, she ended up having just as bad as customer service.

Been tempted to write a letter to the hospital admin and the medical group with my complaints, guessing it won't do any good....

shant... shantee225

I have been with the same pedi for 10 years... They are amazing!!

Khadija Ortiz

Very Thankful that I love my pediatrician and haven't had to deal with bad experiences. He is very warm and respectful of my feelings. He is very patient with my son and has a son that is my son's age. He supports my choice to breastfeed. The staff is also very friendly and warm and love my son. I dont have to wait long for our appointments either. I am usually in and out in under an hour. 

nonmember avatar ZMommy

I like my son's pediatrician. He's nice and answers all of my questions. I also like that at the end of each appointment he says that we are doing a good job. I'm a first time mom with a seven month old and it really helps my confidence. The only issue I have is with one of the nurses. She is kind of condescending. Example: I called the after hours exchange a few days ago when my son was having some constipation issues. He had no fever or anythng. Doc was very nice, called me from home with advice and said to call the office in the morning with an update. When I did to report he was fine SHE answered and made a point to tell me that I didn't need to call after hours if my son didn't have a fever. Uh, excuse me, but if I want to call my son's doctor I will.

cooki... cookinmommyof1

I live my sons pedi. Listens and addresses concerns. Supports breastfeeding, never a long wait time and doesn't prescribe antibiotics unnecessarily. And is great with kids

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