Do you ever find yourself irritably waiting in a doctor’s office, hungry and strung out with all the kids yelling and running around? It is after you prepared hours ahead and confirmed that your child’s pediatrician would arrive at 1:00 pm, but it’s already 3:00 pm, and they’re nowhere to be found.
As a parent, you try to schedule your day and stick to it the best you can. You do this so you can accomplish a lot without getting so stressed. But things like this cause a massive delay in your day and push some of your schedules back.
It’s not uncommon to encounter doctors, even pediatricians, like this. However, it might be time to find a new one if it’s not working for you.
This post will list the six signs that it may be time to find a new pediatrician and offer tips to find a good fit for your family. Pay close attention to these warning signs to ensure you give your child the best possible medical care. More so if they have an existing medical condition, so read on.
1. Poor Communication
A pediatrician that communicates well will be able to relay medical information to you in a way that you would fully understand. It’s crucial, especially if you have questions and concerns about your child’s health, as expected from a worried parent.
If your child has a medical condition, your pediatrician should be able to explain why it happened, how to prevent it from occurring with your other children and give you options for treatment.
If your pediatrician dismisses your question, tells you not to worry casually, and doesn’t give you various options, then it might be time for a switch.
It’s expected that doctors ease your apprehension. But if they do it casually, like it’s not a big deal, you might feel he’s not empathetic about your situation.
Doctors, in general, are trained with bedside manners. But if your pediatrician lacks this, you might feel brushed aside and unimportant.
2. Long Wait Times
It’s common to wait in a doctor’s clinic. But if it happens too frequently and the wait time drags to more than an hour or two hours past the schedule, then it might be a sign of not-so-good things.
Your pediatrician may be overbooked or not know how to manage time properly. A good pediatrician respects their patient’s time and should try to stay on schedule.
As you wait a long time in a doctor’s office, it might increase your stress and anxiety as you remain for the result of your child’s diagnostic exam for a detailed explanation, and the long wait time can exacerbate this. It’s one example of what a parent might feel in this situation.
You might miss work or another appointment, which can also add another layer of stress. Also, your child might already get uncomfortable and frustrated, which is something you’ve been trying to avoid.
3. Lack Of Availability
Your pediatrician typically has their schedule posted by the door for the patient’s reference. But it might be time to find a new one if they’re primarily unavailable at the times they indicated. It also means they can’t work around their schedule or prioritize things other than their patient’s health and well-being.
4. High Turnover Rate
A high turnover rate of staff in your pediatrician’s clinic is problematic. It can be a significant red flag and a sign of many things, including a change to a new pediatrician.
The frequent staff changes might be a sign of poor management which is indicative of poor job satisfaction. It can affect the quality of care your child receives and their familiarity with your child’s situation.
If you see a different nurse practitioner or pediatrician assigned to you each time in the clinic, your child will receive inconsistent care. It affects the doctor-patient relationship you have established from the get-go. It also affects the continuity of your child’s treatment. It is especially true if they fail to respond to phone calls or emails on time.
5. Lack Of Referrals
Referrals are crucial, especially if your child needs specialized care for their unique medical condition. An excellent pediatrician should have a reliable list of specialist peers in their network to refer you to.
A lack of referrals can delay your child’s diagnosis and treatment. It can be detrimental, especially if your child needs prompt medical attention. Another thing is, if they can’t refer you to a specialist, they might misdiagnose your child’s condition, and due to this, your child might receive improper treatment, which can worsen their condition.
Lastly, if they can’t refer you to a specialist, your child might not gain access to new treatments and tools, which forfeits their chance of getting better fast.
Unprofessionalism can take many forms. It can be how they communicate and conduct themselves in front of their patients, inadequate record keeping, and neglect to maintain their boundaries. These can affect how pediatricians deal with and treat their patients. It may also produce an unfavorable outcome for your child. When this happens, it’s best to look for a new pediatrician.
Another non-negotiable for many parents is when the pediatrician can’t keep an organized and sanitized clinic. Or if the staff is rude and unfriendly. It reflects on their job and might indicate that they don’t take it seriously.
How To Find A New Pediatrician
You may take several steps if you’ve finally decided to let go of your child’s pediatrician and it’s time to meet a new one. Here are some of them:
- Ask For Referrals- Ask family, friends, and your community if they can refer you to a good one. It might be worth checking out if they have a good experience with another pediatrician.
- Check Online Reviews – You can check websites and apps to view testimonials from other patients. Practice prudence when you do this and be objective.
- Check Credentials – It’s best to check organizations where they’re affiliated and if they’re certified. You may check the American Board of Pediatrics if you live in the United States.
- Check Hospital Affiliations – A hospital’s website will show if the pediatrician is affiliated; this is a good indication of their reputation.
- Schedule A Consultation – You must meet with the pediatrician because only then will you be able to know if they’re the one you’re looking for. During the meeting, ask questions and get a feel of their approach.
- Consider Convenience – Choosing one nearby with a schedule that works alongside yours is best. If you can only bring your child on weekends, see if the pediatrician has a slot for this.
- Trust Your Instincts – Pay attention to your gut feelings. Based on your experience, it might be easier to compare.
Follow these suggested steps, and before you know it, you’re already sitting comfortably in your new pediatrician’s cozy and clean clinic.
If you have noticed any signs this post mentioned, it might indicate you need a new pediatrician. This is a crucial decision affecting your child’s well-being. It’s best to act fast and consider the tips this post listed so your child can receive the best possible care.