Dear Pediatrician

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Categories Anger, Ask the Readers, Attitude, Different Gender, Fraternal, Frustration, Infants, Medical, Mommy Issues, Parenting

I wanted to let you know that I was very dissatisfied, and actually quite upset at one point during my recent visit to your office.

I’ve always appreciated your straight-forward no-nonsense style, but since our twins have been born, the quality of your staff is becoming unacceptable. They have been inexperienced, disorganized, and in my opinion, unqualified to work with young children.

At one of our babies’ first appointments in your office, a nurse wrote the wrong name on one of my twins’ vaccination cards and decided to shred it without my permission. I was close to tears when I found this out. It takes just a little more attention to differentiate my babies. They’re not even identical, in fact of opposite genders, but I get asked every single time which baby is which, often incorrectly.

Every visit takes longer than it should. I don’t expect having two babies’ visit to be the same duration as one child, but it should take less time than two separate appointments. Their measurements, exams, and vaccinations can all be given back-to-back. Some acknowledgement and understanding could be made by your staff for double cranky babies who are waiting up to 15 minutes between each of these steps.

During this most recent visit, your staff was unable to tell me what to do with my twins or my stroller. We were in the hallway, obstructing traffic, until I decided to take the stroller back out to the waiting room. No one offered to help with the babies, so I was taking one after the other into the exam room by myself, first for temp/weight checks, then for your physical exam. This is obviously the most inefficient way to set up a twin appointment. There was a point when I was caring for my son in the hallway that the nurse left my daughter on the scale, at counter height, alone. I wasn’t alerted of this until she cried. She could easily have fallen.

Though I like you as our doctor, I believe the lack of competent trained staff is hurting your practice. If conditions aren’t different at our next visit, I may have no choice but to consider looking for a new pediatrician.

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I haven’t sent this letter yet, though I’m obviously irate, because I haven’t decided whether I should. I’m afraid conditions are the same at every pediatricians’ office, and what I know is better than what I don’t, I suppose. I’m also afraid of some sort of retribution. What do you all think? Is this experience common? Is it a twin thing?

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lunchldyd

lunchldyd is mom to 3 year old boy/girl twins and their 5.5 year old sister. She is now teaches part-time to juggle the needs of her young children. When not at work and the kids are asleep, she is addicted to watching TV and sometimes sacrifices sleep to read in bed. She lives in the Los Angeles suburbs with her husband, three kids, and two dogs.

7 thoughts on “Dear Pediatrician”

  1. ABSOLUTELY NOT COMMON! We’ve had three different pediatricians since our boys were born 5.5 years ago (due to insurance changes) and it has never been like this at any of the offices. It’s actually been the opposite actually. Send the letter and also put out on facebook or send an email to your friends with kids asking for a doctor recommendation. The nurse or medical assistant can definitely do the height/weight checks for both babies back to back and same with vaccines, doctor check, etc… That’s not at all unreasonable to expect. It is also more efficient for the doctor and his staff, so you would think they’d want to do it that way.

    And leaving a child unattended on a scale? *&^% NO! NOT OKAY! And the doctor absolutely needs to know about that, even if you don’t want to go into the rest of the details…

    Good Luck!

  2. My doctor’s office’s staff has been so helpful during my pregnancy and after my twins were born. They time appointments so shots are given back to back for minimal manditory cranky baby time before you need to leave, they provide phone call follow-ups and try to get us in right after lunch or first thing in the morning to ensure they are on time. I as an often scattered parent of twins try to make sure I write my list of questions ahead of time so everyone involved is being considerate of the time factor. Have you considered calling the doctor to have a conversation about your disappointment and brainstorming ways before you “break-up”? A good doctor is worth their weight in gold! Good luck!

  3. Not normal. Our staff has mostly been the same over 3+ years. They help me dress/undress when needed. They know certain exam rooms fit the stroller better and always save me one. My only complaints are long phone wait time and long office waits for afternoon appointments (which is when I can go after work, like everyone else).

  4. This is absolutely NOT normal, and completely unacceptable. I would have left the moment my child was left unattended. No way would I entrust my children with staff like that. I wrote a post here on HDYDI a while back on the awesomeness that is our pediatricians’ office. There was a new assistant when we went in to check on J’s breathing yesterday. She works at the local Children’s hospital regularly and is observing for just a few weeks. Even though she will likely never see my daughters again, she made a point of learning which was which, and mine ARE identical. I would send the letter and find a new doctor, pronto. If you’re concerned bout retribution ( I wouldn’t be), put in a request for your kids’ full records before you officially withdraw the kids from their care so that you have everything on hand.

  5. This is terrible. I would encourage you to find a new pediatrician immediately! Our office staff greets us all by name, despite having 3 months between appointments (sometimes they need reminding which twin is which, but I find that acceptable in this situation). They are kind, helpful, and respectful of our time. We are shown where to put our stroller, and when the boys were very little, the staff would park it for us! They schedule 2 appointments back to back, but we NEVER wait between steps (and we only have one nurse assigned to us), and they do a great job of keeping my sons’ individual information straight. From the doctor to the check in desk, my boys are NEVER treated as less than two separate, unique, important patients. My dr does the exam and asks if we have any particular questions about that child, then at the end if we have any questions that pertain to both. We LOVE going to check ups. You deserve a dr’s office that you can trust with both the big things and the small ones!

  6. We had similar issues (though no one was left on the scale) with our pediatrician. We were there from birth until a few months ago. There was never one thing that was “bad” but it was disorganized, and I know they were entering the wrong kid’s info into the charts, which was verified when our insurance rejected a covered vaccine because it was “given” twice in one visit. I know for a fact they did NOT give one kid two shots, but the entered both into one kid’s chart so the insurance was billed twice. We finally moved on this summer after our pediatrician decided that one kid has autism and would no longer do anything to help him. I asked for an OT referral or a psychiatrist or ANYTHING else to help while we waited for SIX MONTHS for the specialist. She just treated us like it was a virus and there was nothing she could do. When we looked back there were lots of little red flags that we missed since they were little. We changed pediatricians. We really like the new doc, who was referred by another twin mom and endorsed by half a dozen or so other twin families in our MoMs club. (Also, for the record, the kid does NOT have autism, he has Sensory Processing Disorder and a little side of ADHD and OCD. Our new per got us the referrals immediately for OT and he’s doing great!)
    All this to say go with your gut and don’t take your kids back there. I just always thought the little things didn’t matter until they started adding up to big things. Thankfully my kids never had major medical issues so the little things never got big.

  7. NOT common. We moved state when my boys were 6monthz old and both offices have been efficient and helpful. Find a new doctor!

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