Doctors: How To Build a Relationship With Your Child’s Pediatrician
Building a relationship with your doctor is crucial to your well-being, but even more important is the relationship you have with your child’s doctor. Unless you lucked out the first time with finding the perfect doctor, you have probably seen them all; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Needless to say, we had to kiss a few frogs to find our prince, but it was worth it. We didn’t make it easy on him either. He had big shoes to fill.
I’m not sure what led my grandparents to Dr. Larry Bregman except divine intervention. They were not the kind to travel long distances in the 1950s; a 30 or 40 minute drive was an eternity. My Father loved him so much that he continued seeing him into his young adulthood. Dr. Bregman was very gracious and allowed Mike, my Dad, to come in the back door and wait in his private office so my Dad would not get embarrassed.
The first tool he used to bring our anxiety level way down was his bedside manner or charm. He could give you three shots and do a fecal exam without your knowing it. He was natural at making his patients feel comfortable either by telling stories, jokes, or making up games to play.
What was really amazing is that we were always better in just a few hours. We would go the Doctor mid-morning and would be feeling fabulous before dinner. It may have been the medicine. It may have been his care, but I believe it was a little of both.
Since Dr. Bregman passed away before my daughter was born, I had to search for a new pediatrician and it wasn’t easy. Of course, we tried everyone’s suggestions, but in the end, it came down to who made us feel better for coming. You see, there is something way more to doctoring than conventional medicine or wisdom. You definitely want your doctor to have those things, but just as important as the smarts, your doctor should treat you as his equal. He should validate the symptoms you describe while making you and your child believe and know that he or she will be better very soon.
I realize there are not many doctors like this anymore. It is very sad, but they make more money if you have to keep coming back for more medicine. What is even more sad is that we have been taught to believe the lie; that we know nothing and the doctor knows everything.
What this all boils down to is trust. Do you trust your physician? Is your child getting well or sicker? On a psychological level, do you and your child automatically feel better when you walk out the door or do you have lingering unanswered questions? Questions that you are afraid to ask for fear of “bothering” him or his staff. If this is how you feel, it is time to go Doctor shopping again.
While America is still free and you can see almost any doctor you want, it is time to find one you can trust. It’s a cliché in a movie but, does he or she sit and listen to what you have to say and then respond to your questions, or do they send you off to a specialist and write you a prescription for an anti-depressant? Basically getting you out of their hair, typing up the bill before you leave the office, and then running to their luxury car to get nine holes in at the Country Club before dinner. To some doctors, you are a paycheck and nothing more.
The main thing to remember is that you are the guardian over your child’s health. Make sure you get the answers you need and the respect you should always receive. This is your child and no one is going to care for them the way you do. So stand up, say something, and work with your Doctor to find solutions.
How do you build a relationship with your child's pediatrician?