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Choosing your paediatrician

Choosing your paediatrician

July 6, 2012

Meeting the doctor for medical reasons isn’t an experience one is really looking forward to- especially so for the parents who visit a paediatrician for their child’s problems. Many of them don’t really get the best out of their doctor just because they don’t know how to do it.

Well, don’t despair. Here are my tips to help you out.

1)      Check the doctor first.

By this I don’t mean that you ask your doctor to lie on his back and to stick his tongue out! I just mean that you check his credentials by making sure to look at his degree and if possible get some feedback from the patients who have been to him.

Don't get unduly impressed by the posh set-up and a sky-high fee. It doesn't guarantee anything. The qualities you should be looking for are confidence, sincerity, caring nature and compassion.

A doctor deriding the other doctor's treatment and decisions is usually not a good sign. Be careful about such 'judgmental' doctors!

2)      Wear sensible clothes.

This instruction is not for the mom and dad but for the kid! (Obviously mom and dad also could do with this tip!)

Bear in mind that you aren’t entering your baby a fancy dress competition! The layer on layer type of clothing which is difficult to open is an absolute no-no. Many a time, mothers are struggling and stretching to get their little ones out of their tight clothes. It leads to wastage of time and often ends up in making the baby cry!

The clothes should be such that they provide easy access for the doctor to check various body parts for thorough inspection, palpation and auscultation.

3)      Sit properly in front of your doctor.

Don’t think for one moment that I am playing a school- master!  But many parents make a hash of this simple thing.

A child in mother’s lap with its face towards the doctor is the ideal position for check-up. But many parents keep on admiring the child’s face themselves and let the doc have a rear-view!

For restraining the child before throat inspection the parent carrying him should contain both the arms of the child with one hand and with other hand restrain the child’s forehead.

Never press the child’s mouth to force him to open it. It only makes it more difficult.

4)      Mind your language!

Try to be pleasant and don’t let your anxiety dominate your conversation. Over-anxiety often percolates to other person and worsens the matters rather than improving them.

Answer the questions completely and honestly without holding any information. Be precise and to the point. Avoid repeating same things over and over. Keep a paper with your queries ready so that you don’t miss any.

Don’t try to show off your medical knowledge. That is a sure-shot turn-off for the doc. Instead let the doctor show off his knowledge by asking him your queries in an 'innocent' but 'leading' manner to clear any doubts in your mind.

Don't ever demand medicines like antibiotics, appetite stimulants or vitamins if the doctor hasn't prescribed them.  A good paediatrician might explain and convince you about their uselessness but another might just quickly follow 'your' advice and you would end up pumping unnecessary medicines into your child - in addition to losing some more precious bucks - to the pharmacist!

5)      Keep good records.

Maintain a good file of previous and present medical records containing information about the birth, development, vaccination, illnesses, allergies and medicines. Bring this file whenever you visit a clinic or a hospital.

6)      Follow the instructions.

The instructions about rest, diet and medicines are to be followed sincerely. Complete the course of medicines as advised.

7)      Don’t shop for doctors.

Trust your doctor. If you don’t then there is no sense in going to him.

Medicines don’t work like miracles and every illness subsides only after a particular duration. So be patient till the medicines work their way round the illness. Immediately don’t rush to the next available doctor.

8)      Be friends!

Develop a friendly rapport with the doctor and also include your kid in that process of friendship. One way to ensure that is to do away with that favourite scare-crow word – ‘Injection’!

Child specialist, Paediatrician, Pediatrician, Choosing your paediatrican, Choosing a child specialist doctor