Thursday, March 26, 2009

An Open Letter

A short open letter to pediatrician's (or doctor's in general, really) offices:

Hey, guess what? This is MY kid, not yours. Hey, guess what? In 20 years you'll have no clue who we are and I'll still remember every vaccine reaction and medication side effect. You know what? That means I have the choice about what to give them and when, not you. Here's a news oldest daughter did NOT have a chicken pox vaccine at 12 months old specifically because my research convinced me she would just need a booster in the future (possibly when she was college-aged and highly unlikely to get one). Instead, I made the decision to wait until she was 3 or 4. Lo and behold, you guys now include a booster in the vaccination schedule. Man, I sure was off base, huh? I wanted both girls to have the chicken pox vaccine at the same time when my youngest was 12 months old and you guys said DTaP was more important and we should do the chicken pox at 18 months. Then 18 months rolled around and you guys skipped it again (I admit, I should have paid closer attention). When I call to inform you my not yet vaccinated kids have been exposed and I'd like to get the vaccine for both of them in the 3-5 day window where it can still prevent or lessen the severity of the infection, how about you be grateful for keeping your vax numbers up (since that's all you all seem to care about anyway) and schedule the appointment? Your snotty, arrogant, holier than thou attitude does nothing but royally tick me off and make me want to avoid doctors all together. I'm sure that was your goal, right? Take a look at the records, we've made every well baby visit and unless there were extenuating circumstances, we've even done almost every vaccine (let's be honest, my 2 month old isn't going to be exposing herself to hepatitis B anytime in the next year). Oh, wait, you wouldn't know that because their pediatrician abandoned them and moved to another clinic "temporarily" (you know, only a whole year), and then abandoned them again and moved back to the original clinic. Since we value continuity of care and stayed with the same doctor, the charts are now split between two clinics. News flash---this was your doing, send a fax and combine the charts and stop acting like I'm a delinquent. While you're at it, train your office staff to understand a simple concept--this town revolves around a very large university. Maybe, just maybe, the parent on the other end of the phone has quite a bit of education and intelligence under their belt and has reasons to back up their choices (they may even have studies from your own medical literature to back up those choices! They may even be nearly finished with PhD in immunology!). As a lactation consultant and mostly as a parent, I am sick and tired of the multitude of non-evidenced based information being given out on a daily basis. If we can't trust your science and your customer service absolutely sucks, why should we be expected to be eager to work with you?

(okay, I'm done with my vent)


Karen said...

I would be ticked off too!

Anonymous said...

You go! Hopefully you will like Dr. H... they have been nothing but helpful since day 1! He even spent 1.5 hours with me when I was interviewing peditricians just to make sure all my question were answered!

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