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Would you find a new pediatrician? *Kind of long, truly need some advice*

Daughter is 19 months old. Normal height, normal weight. No problems during pregnancy or at birth. She did flip breech at 38 weeks and flipped back at 39 weeks. I was induced shortly after she flipped back down, and she was born a few hours later.

2 Months old - Went to a routine pedi appt. He made the comment that her joints in her legs were loose and asked if she was breech. I said yes, but only for one week. So he sent me to a specialist to make sure she was okay. Everything turned out fine. Let me add in that from what I have read, there is only a risk with babies who have been breech for quite some time. One week is irrelevant.

6 Months old - Went to a routine pedi appt. He made the comment that she wasn't sitting up. So he sent me to another specialist to make sure she was okay. Before anyone could even come to my house (it was going to be another home visit) she went from creeping to sitting up, standing, crawling, and walking around the coffee table in about a 3 week period. So I canceled the appt. since she was obviously fine.

18 Months old - She says 7-10 words, but understands many more, and every week it seems she is learning a new word. Pedi referred us AGAIN to a specialist to have her hearing checked. Then tried to coerce me to have a speech pathologist evaluate her. Thing is, she has always well exceeded her peers in physical things, but for verbal while she isn't ahead, she has never been the slowest child. Also until this last week or so, she has not cared about imitating us. She does not sit down for long, she wants to move and do physical things, even if it's just coloring. That is just her temperament. She is a busy body.

She can go get a ball, throw her diaper away, she likes to go say hi to her puppy, when she hears daddy she runs to the door to get daddy, she can play hide and go seek, turn things on and off, etc. She can also put her blocks on the correct stick (it's like a color coded organizer) when asked to. She also dances when asked and is currently learning the head, shoulders, knees and toes song.

The first thing to do with her speech was to have her hearing tested. They ran three different tests and she did perfectly on each of them. The lady commented on how bright and alert Kali is. To get her through the booth part of the test, we put a dry erase board and a marker on the table with her. She went from screaming to total chill mode. The lady was impressed and really s...urprised, so I think even she noticed that Kali is just physical and loves to remain busy.

So, to be honest I have been a wreck. Every doctors appt it's specialist this or specialist that. I get that he's concerned, but he's seriously kind of freaking me out. What in the hell is the point in going to a pediatrician if 1. He is always going to refer me out and 2. He always has fears that aren't realistic?

He has made it a point to tell me each time that there are programs if he refers her before a certain age, etc. It's almost like he is only sending me because the program exists and there is a cut off age. I'd love to know how many children actually get referred out by this pediatrician.

He is a truly awesome doctor when there aren't any problems, but when there are I feel like he kind of over reacts and is very quick to do so...

I also have her in classes once a week. They are ran through the school system and are sort of a Mommy and Me type class. The kids go off to play with supervision and us parents talk about any issues or problems that we may have and the mentors/educators are there to help. They are licensed and trained to catch any delays, and the people are not worried about her. I have been attending them for over a year now with her, so I am more prone to believe them when they say there might be a problem (which they have never said) versus a pediatrician who see's her maybe 10 minutes every 3-4 months.

So anyway, I have considered switching pediatricians. My husband is very fond of this specific pediatrician, but he understands my concerns as well. Any advice? Am I being too hard on this guy, or are three referals to specialists in less than two years enough to maybe just switch docs? Thanks.

And please, be sensitive. I have cried MANY times over wondering if our child was okay, and she was. I do not need any drama over this post. I am just looking for some guidance.

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Asked by Anonymous at 4:24 PM on Feb. 10, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (14)
  • Have you tried telling him how you feel about these referrals? I have two special needs kids and have learned you have to be vocal with your doctors from time to time. Tell him you love the way he is as a doctor but that you just dont feel she needs to be referred for every program available unless there is something truly wrong. I would talk to him about it first and if he doesnt respect what you are saying then talk to the other parents at your group and ask them what pediatrician they like best.

    Answer by gemgem at 4:31 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • I think you should make an appointment with another doctor and express your concerns. You may be more comfortable with someone else. I always have liked a woman pediatrician, I dont think medically she is any better than a male doctor I just can talk and relate better to her. If your doctor keeps up his pattern of sending you to specialists you will be a nervous wreck going to see him.

    Answer by ria7 at 4:31 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • Hi - I did actually say something last time. I told him that I feel like he's talking about a specialist very prematurely. I informed him that I had done some talking with my New Parent Support Program worker (through the military) as well as just general things I've read in books and parenting magazines. So then he kind of looked at me and said "Oh, so you've been doing your own research" and looked at me like I was nuts.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 4:35 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • I would consider switching, however keep in mind that had any problems been found from any of these referrals you would likely be eternally grateful that her ped referred you and didn't wait to see if things changed. If you don't switch then I may just try to take a wait and see approach on things in the future that he may be concerned about. As in, if you think his recommendation is premature just let him know that you understand the concern and will keep a vigilant watch over the issue at hand but that you would like to wait before jumping to conclusions and rushing to a specialist. As you said, she learned to sit, crawl, and pull-up all in a few weeks so things change quickly with babies and now that she is getting older it seems any delays or causes for concern will only get more easy to spot.

    Answer by MaryMW at 4:36 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • sounds to me like she is right on track. Just remember that no one knows your child better than you do.

    Answer by L0vingMy3Girls at 4:40 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • honestly I think it is just he is a cautious pediatrician. If it really bothers you tell him that. . . otherwise enjoy that he cares about your child's well being. It is not a bad thing. There are many Doctors who just don't care. . .

    Answer by Kirs at 4:41 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • If he said that to you and did not seem to respect your capability to research and make your own decisions then yes find another doctor right away. I have alot of health issues and my former doctor used to prescribe meds I didnt like, they made me sleepy. I did my own research and changed meds. She told me GOOD doctors listen to their patients and appreciate when they bring in information they found on their own because sometimes doctors have so many patients they might miss a perfectly good option to treatment. My new doctor has told me similar. You dont need a doctor caring for your child that doesnt have a good bedside manner.

    Answer by gemgem at 4:48 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • You sound like you have a great Doctor that is truly concerned! It is important that you be honest with him and communicate these feelings with him, the way you did here. If you think the specialist are not needed, tell him so, nicely but keep them open just in case you do need them one day. It is so hard to find a good Doctor these days. You must communicate with him or he will not know. When you agree to see the specialist, you are simply agreeing that there may be something wrong (even if it was unintentional). When you stand strong and tell him, nope, I don't think that will be neccesary, she has done all of this and this and seems to be doing great....he will see that as improvements. Keep a diary of her development so that you can show it to the Doctor. Like you said, he only sees her 10-15 minutes per session and you get the joy of seeing her 24/7.

    Answer by Dreamlander at 4:52 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • Yes, I would. He is being referral happy and will cause insurance rates to go up. Your daughter sounds fine.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 5:51 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • Hi Ty - We actually have Tricare. The insurance stays the same so that isn't something to take into consideration re our situation. Thanks =)

    Hi Dream - I have told him, and I feel like he blew me off. Rude IMO. From my point of view he thinks EVERYONE capable should take advantage of these programs even if they do not fully qualify to be referred to them =/. I feel the exact opposite. I am not for free programs, public assistance, etc. if I do not need them or if my child does not need them. So our views are basically polar opposites from one another.

    There are many reasons why we have considered switching pediatricians, but it basically boils down to three. His nurses are completely incompetent and ask you the same question three times (not being harsh, just honest), he is about 45 minutes away from our home (lots of travel with a young one), and then the referral happy side of him.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 6:19 PM on Feb. 10, 2011

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