After 10 years together, my family doctor is retiring. Something about wanting a break and being old and stuff. I am so, so sad to see him go-he’s been an excellent Doctor for us and helped us through many trying things throughout our young family’s life. He caught my husband’s bells palsy VERY quickly and treated it-saving him from a much lengthier disease. He counseled and walked me through my tummy issues. He advised me to treat my girls allergies and colds with honey. He’s been there the day after my babes were born to assess and care for them. We’ve loved Doctor Goodger and are very sad to see him go. Also, every time he sees me he calls me boo. I’m just into that sort of thing.
Fortunately he has a new doctor joining his practice and my husband had an opportunity to meet him and thought I should too. Our insurance has been bugging me to go in for “well-child” check-ups…something I don’t typically bother with but I figured this was the perfect excuse to interview the new guy and see if I liked him. I do.
Before going in I prepared a list of questions I wanted to ask. I invested and had him see both children-if I was smart I would have taken them one at a time in case I didn’t like him and needed to interview more (for free!!) using a “well-check” free pass from my insurance. Also, I would have liked to have a follow up appointment with him to get some questions more fully answered. Oh well. Learn from me. If you have 4 kids that all need well-child checks feel free to space all 4 of those out to interview new doctors for free and use as follow-up appointments.
Also, a note before I give my list, we’re really into family doctors around here. Almost everyone I’ve talked to uses a pediatrician and I just didn’t feel like that was the route I wanted to take. I want a relationship with someone that will see every member of our family. I love not being in a waiting room filled with germ-infested children, and children only. I love that family doctor’s and their staff are SUPER excited when they get to see a baby or child (because it’s not their day-to-day drag). And I just like the been-there-done-that approach that Dr Goodger had with all of my concerns with my children. He took the time to talk vaccines with me. He was super excited to get called in to the hospital to assess my babies after they were born and he could see all of us at once when we all got a sinus infection at the same time.
The only downside to having a family doctor is that they typically don’t have after hours care set up like a peds office would. Other than that…I can’t see any reason to go to a Pediatrician. And even then-we’ve survived just fine without after hours care.
Onto my list of questions. I thought these might be a good idea to post. Many people I talk to just go to whoever their friends go to, or whoever is close to their house, or whoever the end up with. My attitude towards my doctor is that I want a relationship of trust. I want to know that our feelings about certain things are the same. If something crazy happens and we have to spend a lot of time together making important decisions about my babies’ health I can trust that he’s going to be making the calls I want him to. I don’t want to be shopping for a new doctor mid crisis.
I was very impressed with him and his MA’s assessment of my children and my children LOVED him. He was fun, easy going and kept them very comfortable. She even gave them both their own box of crayons and coloring sheets to use while we waited. I love these little things.
My questions: (the abbreviated list)
- How do you feel about homebirth? If I end up birthing at home one day, will you be willing to accommodate us and see the babe within the first few days?
I started off with this one on purpose. This one question establishes very quickly what kind of attitude anyone has about crunchy mamas in general. If his face had twisted into a judgy pout right away, I would have known this was not going to be my doctor. Instead, he was like-“Cool! Yeah, I love babies and I’m totally cool with that.” He even did some training with a CNM while he was in med school and thinking about specialties. At this point, I think I love him. It’s not even that I needed him 100% onboard, I just don’t want to deal with judgement when I’m in the vulnerable state of bringing in a new baby (if ever this does happen…)
- What options do you have for after hours care? Do you give out your personal number?
- Can you place an IV in your office?
My children get sick once a year, and every other year they need an IV for this annual sickness. It makes me crazy because we have to pay the ER bill because they have to place an IV. He actually explained that he doesn’t like to do IV’s on children because it’s too traumatic and would rather give them zofran and pedialyte slowly to re-hydrate them. And that he’s happy to do this in office. This answer suits me.
- How do you treat a cold?
He said he’d have to hear lung sounds for this one. He’s been working in instacare for the last 4 years and pretty much only treating colds so he’s got it down. I’m feeling pretty trusting at this point ANNNDDD it’s rare I bring my kids in with a cold.
- How do you feel about antibiotics?
He’s all for them IF they’re necessary. Good answer. I didn’t get the vibe that he’s into over-prescribing them.
- Do you have a mobile service?
They currently do not BUT they have a super cool program called “myhealth” that is similar where you’re more easily able to have access to his medical assistant and him through their app-making it easier to decide if you actually need to come in. This sounds lovely.
I was also able to discuss some alternative medicine options I’m looking into that he was very supportive of and cover some things more specific to our circumstances. If you have questions about vaccines I would definitely cover them in your interview process. The important thing is the attitude-you are HIRING a doctor and they need to fit well with you because we pay A LOT for healthcare here and we need to have high expectations. This way the handful of awful doctors I’ve met in my time will either find other career paths or change their ways.
And use those well-child check-ups! They’re the perfect opportunity to go shopping for a new Doc if you’re in the market for one.
Did I miss anything? What questions would you add to my list?