If you aren't too excited about your child's next visit to the doctor's office there are a few secrets you might need to know. American Baby's Amy Gorin gives tips on navigating the pediatrician's office.
If you don't enjoy waiting around in the waiting room consider the day of the week you schedule your appointment. Monday is the worst day of the week to visit the office. Monday's are usually crammed with appointments for children who get sick over the weekend. Tuesday through Friday are the best days. The first appointment in the morning or right after lunch are the best times.
Know that you can ask for extra time if you think you need it. New mothers are always worried about asking too many questions during the appointment but don't be. If you know you have a lot to talk about with the doctor make sure you make it clear that you want to schedule a "consultation" rather than just a visit. When it's a consultation the doctor knows that he'll be spending a half an hour or so with you rather than the 10 minutes he normally spends during a visit. Offices schedule consults at the end of a morning or afternoon so there is no one waiting afterwards, thus no pressure to rush.
If you find that you don't like your doctor, it is acceptable to switch. Doctors want their patients to see whomever they feel comfortable with. There will be no hard feelings if you switch, even within the same practice. This is not something mothers should worry about.
You don't have to wait in the waiting room if you don't want to. Waiting can be the most stressful part of the appointment. If the wait is long, tell the receptionist you'll be out in the hallway. She might be willing to call you on your cell or you can pop in every five minutes or so. Some offices even have a special newborn waiting room.
Remember, your doctor isn't thinking about money when he writes your child a prescription. So, your insurance or how much it costs isn't being considered. If you're concerned about cost, ask about other options when he writes the prescription such as a generic form of the drug. If you don't realize the cost until you're picking up the prescription, ask the pharmacist to call your doctor. It's also smart to have a good relationship with your pharmacist.
If your doctor said he would call but hasn't, it's okay to follow up, especially if you're expecting lab results. Things can move too fast for the office to keep up, so it might just be that they haven't had a chance to call you yet. But your follow-up phone call might move you to the top of the stack.
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Amy Gorin & Erika Wortham