7 Signs of a Bad Pediatrician

I’m lucky, I really like my daughters doctors and think they do a great job when it comes to her care. They ask questions, they spend time listening to my questions and concerns, never once made me feel like the silly new mom and I never feel like I’m getting pushed out of the office. I know that’s not the case for everyone. Sometimes you feel stuck. Switching doctors isn’t easy or pleasant. How do you know when the doctor you’ve placed your childs health in isn’t the best?

Thankfully, BabyCenter.com has taken the time to discuss the 7 signs of a bad doctor.

In old movies, bad doctors are easy to identify – they work out of seedy offices and have a furtive, unkempt look. In real life, it’s not so obvious.

Thanks to improvements in medical education and oversight, most doctors today are well educated and have solid credentials. “The differences between good and bad are more subtle, more personal, harder to detect but just as critical for you,” says George LeMaitre, a surgeon and author of How to Choose a Good Doctor.

San Francisco Bay Area pediatrician Laurel Schultz says so-called “bad” doctors usually aren’t bad people. They may be overworked, bored, or burned out – or a combination of the three. Or maybe they never liked being a doctor in the first place. “Their eyes are glazed over,” says Schultz. “They’ve lost their intellectual curiosity. They really don’t care, and it shows.”

Atlanta pediatrician and American Academy of Pediatrics spokesperson Jennifer Shu encourages patients to trust their instincts. “Go with your gut reaction. If you don’t feel good about a physician, go somewhere else. Remember that your best friend’s doctor may not be right for you and your family.”

What are other good ways to recognize a bad doctor? We checked in with experts who identified seven warning signs to watch out for:

An indifferent or uncaring attitude

You’re looking for medical care, not a new friend – so a sparkling personality probably isn’t a priority when choosing a doctor. Still, it’s smart to steer clear of one who is consistently cold and patronizing, or who has no memory of you from one visit to the next.

This may sound obvious, but sometimes a prestigious medical degree, fancy address, or robust marketing campaign can conceal the fact that a physician is a lackluster practitioner. As LeMaitre points out, “caring and curing cannot be separated.”

When it comes to your child’s doctor, pay attention to how he or she interacts with your child. A visit to the doctor can be a frightening experience, and a caring pediatrician or family doctor will take the time to make your little one feel comfortable.

Look for a doc who gets down to your child’s level to explain what’s happening and why, and who expresses genuine warmth and interest. No matter how experienced or highly recommended your child’s doctor is, if he or she dismisses your child’s fears or spends most of the visit talking to you and ignoring your child, consider finding someone else.

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