Time for a New Pediatricians Office!

May 31, 2011

So I was told due to my son’s ruptured ear drum that wasn’t seeming to heal – that he should be seen again in 5 days because they wanted to be sure it was going away.  Now meanwhile he had still been having really low-grade fevers almost 100% of the time – and still kinda whiney – waking up two times every night…  So last Monday morning I called in right about 9am (they open promptly at 8, and not a minute early) to get an appointment for him for that day.  She said their first opening was a 6:30 appointment.

Now backing up a little here – this Dr.’s office is about 35 minutes south of us, where we used to live.  It used to be right down the street from our house, and quite convenient.  It is not anymore.  So when I was on the phone with them to schedule – I asked if they have a recommendation for a new office that might be closer to us.  The nurse on the phone assured me that this was the best place to go and I should not be finding a new office – besides – how often do your kids really go to the doctor?? (besides the four times in the last two weeks that I had already been there…) She also said that they do not refer to other pediatric offices – because why would they give away their business?

So I kept the appointment.  Knowing that my husband comes home at 5:30ish, I’d have to be ready to leave – and drive in Rush Hour traffic down to the Dr.

Due to my husband getting home about 5:40 and me leaving about 5:45 – I didn’t to the office until 6:38.  I looked at the clock as I walked through their doors and saw that it was 6:38.  I didn’t have my cell phone with me <if you know me.. I’m not one to keep my cell phone handy – or charged even..> so I couldn’t call (and didn’t see the need to anyway) to tell them I’d be a few measly minutes late.

After checking in – I waited in the waiting room for over 20 minutes.  Then I was ‘greeted’ by a nurse – who came to tell me <along with the four other families in the waiting room> that I’d be waiting a while longer because I was 15 minutes late and it ‘wouldn’t be fair to the other patients who were on time to see me before them.’ and that ‘I’d be the last person that the Dr. see’s today.’  I thought – how rude is that! besides I wasn’t 15 minutes late, I was 8 minutes late.  But whatever.  I’ll wait.  I’m not coming back here another day just to check his ears.

Then after the waiting room clears, the nurse comes and gets me and says:   ‘It might be a while.. you know you should have thought about calling ahead of time if you knew you were going to be late. We could have found a better time that would accommodate us both a little better.’ Wow.  Really?!!  a 2nd chat about my tardiness? no way.  Ok. now I’m mad.  ‘The Dr. has two patients left to see, then she’ll be in here.  It may be a while.’

I rolled my eyes back and tried to shake it off.. but now I’m REALLY P.O.’d.  Good thing Andrew wasn’t with me. Seriously.. wait for this.

A good 45 minutes later… the Dr. finally decides to stroll in.

‘I’m waiting for a phone call, so if they call while I’m in here, I’ll have to step out for a few minutes – but you shouldn’t mind considering that you were late today.’

I lost it.  ‘Ok.  I don’t see the need to be reminding me THREE Times that I was late.  I was *8* minutes late. not 15. for those 8 minutes, I have been waiting here with an infant, for a 5 minute appointment for you to re-check his ears for nearly two hours.’

She was totally a B word – ‘Well. maybe you should have called in ahead of time when you knew you were going to be running late.  We could have arranged the schedule a little bit better to accommodate us both.’

I said. ‘I don’t have a cell phone with me, I came from [my town] – I asked to be referred to a closer Dr. But was told that I should be seen here instead. I was also told that 6:30 was your only appointment time, and it’s pretty difficult to judge that it’s going to take nearly an hour to get 35 minutes away.’  I started raising my voice a little more.. ‘I have NEVER once been called by this office to tell ME that the Dr. is running even an HOUR LATE! Why should I have to call because I’m running 8 minutes late?!! My children have been coming to this office since the day they were born.  I have spent countless hours waiting in this waiting room over the last few years. I have never been treated so disrespectfully. You won’t see us here again.’

She said she was sorry that she was the third person to remind me that I was late, and proceeded to check my sons ears. She simply looked in them, said, ‘they look fine. looks like it’s healing up.’ and then left.

I was so angry.

Anyway.  So now I’m looking for a new Pediatrician’s office. It was time anyway – I just didn’t think an office would be SO rude to any one person. That’s just crazy.

Being a Dental Hygienist – I know what it’s like to have patients running late – and I know what it’s like making people wait.  It sucks.  It does.  But really? I would never have every person in the whole place mentioning that they’re late and ‘how dare you not call.’ Ugh.

Ok. I’m done Smile Ethan is doing better – I think the low grade fevers were from his second tooth coming in! My baby is growing up so fast!!


  1. Wow! Had a very similar incident and are now in the hunt ourselves. Do they teach drs the phrase “we don’t do that” to all drs or just pediatricians? Strange our office said the same thing. I have got to compliment you for keeping it together so long. Think I was yelling fairy quickly!

  2. Wow!!!! I’d be looking for a new ped too! I am a person who attempts to make it everywhere early. With that being said there have been times that I’ve made it to a doctors appointment a little late. Not once have I been late enough that I’ve felt the need to call. Yes I apologize when I check in and as I see the nurse and doctor but they’re parents themselves and understand.

    For them to make such a big deal over 8 minutes is crazy. Like you said they never call to tell you the doctor is running late.

  3. Rachel C says:

    Don’t you wish they made house calls like in the old days? Our lives would be so much easier! I think I would be willing to pay some serious cash for that…

  4. New to your blog! For SURE time for a new pedi. We moved last summer and still schlep to our old pedi 40 minutes away because we love him. But OMG if there was ever any experience like that I wouldn’t think twice. Good for you for speaking up. Looking forward to following your writing.

  5. Wow! Just reading that I’m angry and I wasn’t even there! Good luck finding a new ped! Hopefully the next one will be more considerate.

  6. I would SO leave that Dr. in a heartbeat. They were acting as if they were punishing you, when in reality, they were ignoring a sick infant! I am angry for you! Talk to some of the moms in your area about who they use. They will give it to you straight on where to go.

  7. Wow! I have never been treated that badly and I have a very low rate insurance not to mention that my children and I walked every where so if one of them didn’t want to walk or wanted to stop and smell the roses along the way it took longer, we were even late sometimes. If I were you I think I might find a place to list your experience where undecided patients were looking for Drs.
    Gladys P

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