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Where Have the Good Pediatricians Gone?

Armen Hareyan's picture

In the past, pediatricians spent time with their parents and taught them both the art of parenting and the practical aspects of raising children. Now I am getting an increasing number of complaints from parents across the U.S. about their pediatricians.

The primary complaint I hear is that the doctors, both men and women, seem to either know little practical pediatrics or they don't want to take the time to teach their parents what they know. I know that many medical school and residency programs for pediatricians are geared only to the care of ill children. I am constantly amazed at some of the things parents tell me or e-mail me that they are told by their pediatricians.

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Yesterday I made a house call on a child whose mother had been one of my pedatric patients. The little boy was to take a long airplane flight with his parents today and they wanted to be sure his ears were o.k. since he had had a recent ear infection.

After I checked the little boy's ears, I asked the mother about her second child who is greatly overweight. I inquired what their pediatrician said about the weight and the mother said, "Well, really nothing." Then I asked about what the little ten-month old was eating. I found out that he was still getting a bottle in the middle of the night and that he had a problem eating solid food. The mother said the pediatrician had simply sent her to an occupational therapist to help with the feeding! I was appalled. The mother added that the child seemed to have problems with anything other than liquid in his mouth. I told her that there are children with oral sensitivity and gave her several ideas about how to get him started on solids, how she could brush his teeh without a fight, and how to stop the middle of the night bottle. I suggested that she call or e-mail me with questions rather than going to the O.T.

As doctors we can create very anxious parents and anxious children if we don't start doing a better job.

The author of this story is Dr. Chralotte Thompson who blogs at http://drthompsonsbooks.typepad.com