23 answers

What Makes a Great Pediatrician

In an ongoing effort to make our pediatricians office a better place for the patients I thought I would come to the experts!
Can you all please tell me the things you LOVE about your Pedi office? The things you HATE (or even dislike) about your Pedi office? And finally, if you could create a dream office, what would it have?

I don't want names of Docs, I am just tryting to get an idea of what things we can do to improve our customer service.

If you don't want to pots your answers you can e-mail me at ____@____.com

Thank You!

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone! We now have a PR person/Patient advocate in our office. She has a copy of what each of you has written. I will continue to give her all responses.
Thank you for your time in writing out these answers!

Featured Answers

My big pet pevs are dirty floors and toys. If I am bringing my son in because he has a virus, I'm afraid he is going to catch another at the docs office. If he is well, I'm afraid he is going to catch something at the office.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D.,

I like pediatrician office which offers the ff:

24-hr hotline numbers that can be reached when you have a question regarding a child's condition (emergency and non-emergency.)

Weekend schedules.

early morning schedule like 7am

kid friendly front desk personnels

Should provide appointment reminders

Should have this thing that numb the part of the body to be injected when giving shots to kids especially to babies.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

What I love about my pediatricians office is the prompt service. I hardly ever have to wait very long to see the doctor or be called back to the room. With all the sick kids in the office I feel this is important because the less time spent their the less exposure to others germs. I don't know how they do it, because they always look swampt, but they do.

1 mom found this helpful

D.,

Thank you so much for caring about your office to make it the best that it can be. That is so refreshing! I wished more medical staff cared about their patients and wanted to know how to make their day a better one.
I would love a doctors office that ran smoothly. I know you laugh. I would appreciate to show up for my appointment and not have to wait an extra 1 hour to get in to see the doctor. In a perfect world the physician would be attentive to my needs and help to answer ALL of my questions. Most importantly Customer Service! If you have to be in the office for any length of time I want to feel comfortable in my surroundings. When you go out to dinner and your table is taking a lot longer than expected they offer you a complimentary drink and such. What would be nice is that the doctors office did the same. I have witnessed so many mom's running from one appt to another with their children in tow and are completely overwhelmed. The children are hungry and the mom is running on little to no octane. What would be great is when they showed up to the doctor's office knowing they could be there forever (LOL) a snack for the children (if appropriate) and some chamomille tea for the parent. The last thing is make it a great working environment for your staff ie doctors, nurses, support staff, ect... We the patients pick up on that. When you all are at ease, laughing, and smiling, that reflects on us. This will sound hilarious, but at 34 yrs old I have always been horrified of the dentist. Yes, childhood issues still waivering. BUT, my dentist office is absolutely a ball to go to. When you get to the front desk they are prepared for your arrival. The staff is all smiling. You will hear the occasional joke cracked. You may even pick up a new recipe for dinner, find a new church, or just meet a new friend. It has helped my fears of the big ugly dentist go by the wayside. Ok maybe not that far away, just not near as bad.

I hope that these ideas help you in your quest to make your office a better experience for your patients.

Dene'

1 mom found this helpful

Well, the first pediatrician I went to was awful. His office made all of his appointments at 8:30 a.m. and when you got there you would have to take a number and just wait. It was rediculous. I stopped going to him when I waited for 3 hours in his waiting room and still didn't get to see him. The times that I did get in, the pediattician was never there- it was always some really creepy old guy doctor.

I changed drs, and I'm happy with the one I have now. The things I don't like - the office looks horrible, like it hasn't been updated in forever. And sometimes whe I go in to see her, she seems rushed. I think a lot of doctors take on more patients than they can handle.... She does answer any questions I have, and I never have to wait for more than 15-20 minutes.

Oh, and the big thing - please return calls!!! The first dr I took my daighter to NEVER returned calls - NEVER!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

For the doctor to really make an effort to bond with the child they are seeing. Taking the time to visit with the child before the exam and to make the exam fun. Also to listen to the parent and really value their input. That is what is most important. Having available after hours support is also important.

1 mom found this helpful

There are a lot of responses, but I thought I'd throw mine in anyway :)

I have 4 kids, ages 2, 5, 8, and 10. We have recently found our "forever" pedi - and he's not even a pediatrician! He's a Family Practitioner!

The thing we love most about him is the way he is so personal w/ all the kids and our family! He knows all of our names and always greets us and treats us like we're his favorite people, lol.

He is also aggressive (which I appreciate)when something is wrong. Like when my son was having stomach/bowel issues, he had him tested for Celiac Disease. I want a dr that is going to see a bunch of "little" symptoms, and realize that they're all related (if, in fact they are). Someone who can connect the dots. I want a dr who is agressive when it comes to something wrong w/ my kids, not someone who will say, "Lets see if it will go away".

I also truly appreciate how he respects me as my childrens Mother - meaning he respects that my childrens medical care is my decision. I appreciate that when something is wrong w/ my children, he gives me my options and asks "What do you want to do?" He will always give me his opinion when asked, but always respects what I choose, he trusts that as their mother I know when something is or isn't wrong with them. He is very respectful of the fact that we have chosen not to vaccinate our youngest child b/c of his allergies - he has always left that my choice.

He is also respectful of our choice to homeschool. I have been to more than one dr who has told me I "need to put my kids in school" -- I didn't appreciate nor solict their "opinion". I appreciate a dr who is respectful of the way we choose to raise our family.

While waiting isn't fun - I don't mind having to wait for our dr (which we rarely do). I'll wait if that's what it takes to see our doctor. I appreciate that the office has extended and weekend hours.

One thing I do not like is that when I call w/ a question, I have to leave a message and wait for a return phone call. There are times I don't mind speaking w/ the nurse when my call is returned, but sometimes (if it's serious) I'd rather speak to the dr.

1 mom found this helpful

Clean office, separate well child and sick child waiting areas, able to get you in quickly for same-day sick child appointments, good after-hours communication and follow-up, realizes that your child's health is a PARTNERSHIP between parent and pediatrician...no unilateral decisions or intimidation on part of pediatrician regarding medication, timing of immunizations, etc. for your child. Office staff really make pediatrician. I left a GREAT pediatrician because I had no access to the pediatrician because of the office staff. They were unprofessional, didn't seem to be able to think creatively / problem solve (i.e. didn't know how to triage situations) and were unwelcoming when you came to the office. I think that a good relationship between pediatrician and parent can occur when a pediatrician can appreciate that a parent is the expert on his/her child and the parent can appreciate that the pediatrician is the expert in medicine and then, each party actively listens and receives that expertise. (of course, we are assuming we have a competent parent and a competent pediatrician in this scenario!!!! Ha!)

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D.,

I like pediatrician office which offers the ff:

24-hr hotline numbers that can be reached when you have a question regarding a child's condition (emergency and non-emergency.)

Weekend schedules.

early morning schedule like 7am

kid friendly front desk personnels

Should provide appointment reminders

Should have this thing that numb the part of the body to be injected when giving shots to kids especially to babies.

1 mom found this helpful

Parenthood is the best training ground for a good pediatrician. And remembering us from one visit to the next.

As far as the physical setup of the office, our pediatrician has their scale set in this thing with a big giraffe cut-out, so the kids actually push and shove to be the first to get weighed and measured (as opposed to peeling them off of me to stand on the traditional scale set-up).

The separate well-room is nice, but a bit pointless when you have to stand in the sick room waiting to sign in. At our old pediatrician's office the kids would be rubbing elbows with sick kids and swapping germs while I was signing in (which, by the way took FOREVER because you had to fill out your whole name, address, phone, insurance info EVERY SINGLE TIME you went in -- a ridiculous policy). Typically every well visit was followed by a sick visit a week or so later.

1 mom found this helpful

My big pet pevs are dirty floors and toys. If I am bringing my son in because he has a virus, I'm afraid he is going to catch another at the docs office. If he is well, I'm afraid he is going to catch something at the office.

1 mom found this helpful

The waiting area has to have no carpet and no plush toys of any kind. The area needs to be divided into two areas-sick babies and well babies. And the area along with the toys needs to be professionally cleaned and disinfected reguraly. Having a T.v. playing a childen's video would be great also. The exam rooms need to have toys of some sort and books. The Pediatrician needs to be able to take the time needed to spend with the mom if she has a list of questions that needs to be asked. It goes without saying, but you would be surprised, All staff in a peds office need to be kid-friendly. An ideal dream is in the waiting room have people hired who read stories and do crafts with the children while they wait. Have the crafts pre-packaged so if they get called back they can take the craft with them and mom can help while they wait in the exam room. The exam room should all have little chairs and tables in them with the necessary supplies needed to do crafts. As you can tell I'm pre-occupied with the waiting room and exam room, it seems the time spent is mostly in these two places. If you have an office that fits all this please post it!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

What I love about my pediatrician......

He truly makes us feel like we are the only patients that he has when he is with us.

He doesn't have nurses coming in and out of the room asking questions and distracting him from us.

The nurses are wonderful, they return calls promptly and never make you feel like you are asking a silly question.

His nurse has called several times after I've left the office to see how my kids were doing, because she said she wanted to make sure because she saw how upset I was. She didn't have to do that..That's why I love my pedi and am okay with a long wait every once in awhile.

1 mom found this helpful

You have gotten some good responses. Mine are smaller touches that make a difference to me (in addition to what everyone else has already posted).
-Books, magazines for the both parents & kids
-picture board of the kids/patients. We recently saw our son's 12 month picture on the board and he is now 4! It was fun for our son, and the doctor had a good laugh just taking a moment to remember some of our funny office visits.
-free samples-our pedi has a basket of hand sanitizers, coupons for vitamins, nasal wash, OTC sample size cough medicine, etc. Stuff that that is given to her that she passes onto us.
-printed reading material on developmental stages (related to checkup), if she is giving a diagnoses (sp) she will print out information or write it out for us with the correct spelling so we can google it or look it up on webmd.
-Follows up-If we paged her over the weekend, or at night, the office staff calls the next day or work day to see how things are going.

Hope this helps...

1 mom found this helpful

Wow, the other ladies have given some great advice! I too, have to agree with separate well/sick areas. One ped I went to had the well waiting room at one end of the office, and the sick room on the other end-both with separate entrances. It was really nice!

**Being a mother of four, ages 15 down to 3, I've seen ALOT. "Yes, I know what pink eye is, and it's going around in the preschool." Why should I have to drop a $30 co-pay? If I have a relationship with my ped, I expect they can quite easily call something in. And I agree, I love it when my former ped knew all of my kids and asked about them each time I brought one in (even though she had hundreds of other patients)--A few family notes on the top of the chart would work :)

**If for some reason the ped is just slammed, and running behind, a quick call from the receptionist would be nice. That way I'm not killing myself to get to an appt on time, only to wait forever to be seen!

**The ability to download and print out new patient and update forms. My current office has you update ALL forms once a year x4 for me. What a pain that is! A simple notation in the system on the patient's or family name passed on when the appt is set, saying the office needs updated info, and it can be done at home and brought in, would be great. Both my pedi dentist and ortho do this and it's so convenient!

1 mom found this helpful

Easy!! I LOVE the availability of my ped's office, which includes evenings and Saturdays. I LOVE the 24 hour nurse hotline. I HATE when my ped spends all his efforts placating me as the new mom rather than actually listening and putting 2+2+2 together. AKA listening to all of what I am concerned about to put together seemingly unrelated symptoms. I find this very condescending and my DD doesn't get helped at all.

1 mom found this helpful

OK, here are a few of the best things about my peds in the past (and a few things I did not like)
*She knew all of my kids names, and asked about them, even if they werent with me. She remembered what the other child was in for last and asked about that.
*She looked for things I would have never thought of and got them taken care of quickly!! (ie. my newborn had a birthmark on his lower back and with in a week we were having an ultrasound to make sure it was not a tethered chord. I had not even noticed it yet!!)
*A concern for me is always wait time and over booking! The pediatrician was well known, and obviously good, but I waited for an hour sometimes for my appointment, STOP overbooking!!
* I personally dont like toys in a dr office, it is a breeding place for germs, even kids who are on the well side can have a virus and not know it yet, or parents think a simple clear runny nose is not enough to consider them sick. However, if you insist on having toys, I would like to see them being cleaned.
* I am really looking for a dr that will work with parents who are trying non-traditional methods. I had a dr roll her eyes at me when I told her that my hubby is going to school to become a chiropractor. I think it is more common now than ever and I want a dr that will work with us. Thanks a bunch for your concerns, ~A.~

1 mom found this helpful

What I loved about our pedi in FL:

** Dr. himself returned calls if requested. As a parent when you're worried and want to talk directly to the dr. (instead of passing a message from the receptionist, to the nurse, to the dr., hoping it's still what you said in the first place...) Sometimes I would say the nurse could call back, but sometimes I needed the doctors reassurance.

** Separate sick and well entrances. The "bookcase" that separates the sick and well sides is not good enough! The sick kids are all over the toys, and the kids who are actually well enough to play, can't!

** Nurses who care. The doctor can be great, but if the nurses act like they have better things to do, the tone of the office is totally changed.

** Doctors who have kids and experience. In my search for a pediatrician for my son when we moved here, I needed help with a sleep issue. I called the office, and was directed to a new doctor on staff whose advice was "all I can say is good luck" and "sleep patterns change sometimes". Hearing this after 2 months of being up all night was not welcome "advice". I went to 1/2 price books, bought a sleep book, tried it and it worked the first night. I looked the doctor up and he was a year younger than me, and had 1 year of experience. Why would they have directed me to this guy? To ask about a dosing question, sure. Not for this situation. (sorry for the rant)

** Doctors and staff who take the approach of working with the parents and providing resources and/or materials when needed. Sometimes what seems obvious to a nurse or doctor is not that obvious to a first time mom. Don't make me feel stupid for asking how many milliliters are in a teaspoon (knowing it's marked right there on the same cup, lol)... I haven't slept more than 3-4 consecutive hours in 2 months remember!!?? :o)

Thanks for showing interest in what our opinions are!

~ t

1 mom found this helpful

LIKES:
*I really like the hours available at our pedi's office: M-F 9-12; 2-5; 6-9:30pm and Sat 9-12 or as needed.
*They have an office in Dallas and Plano.
*The nurses tend to return calls fairly quickly.
*The waiting area is always clean and because of the gaps between their hours they disinfect the office...I've been there during this time.
*Her doctor always makes her feel comfortable (she's only 1 1/2). He gentle and always asks lots of questions. He doesn't ever seen too rushed.
*sick room has a separate door entrance from the hall, but half the time parents don't use it.

DISLIKES:
*Always called back to the room quickly but sometimes we have to wait a while for the doctor. One time we were the first appt and waited an hour! He was at Children's seeing patients and stuck in traffic or something. But what annoyed me was he went to the patient next door first when we had the 9:00 appt.
*Seems a lot of offices have TV's in the waiting rooms, that would be nice since our office is so big and there are usually so many kids.

1 mom found this helpful

I use to work for a group of peds.......
What I like:
**Drs. who also have children

** Drs. who are up to date on modern medicines. The Dr. I worked for was stuck in his old routine. I always wondered why he would always give children antibiotics when they were sick but he never took them himself.

**Drs. who actually show concern & not look down on us as being crazy parents

** An office that is clean! The office I worked at was old & it really showed! So when new patients came in they were horrified & normally they never came back.

** Front staff who show concern about privacy!!! I have seen so many front staff who will talk about patients in front of other patients.

** Drs. who will give patients discounts if they are self pay. The Dr. I worked for would expect full payment. The look on the parents faces when their kids are so sick was just horrible to see.

** Drs. who treat their staff with respect. If the staff isn't happy it'll show in the office.

** Referrals! They can be done within a day or two (depending on the time you were at the office). Offices who tell me that it takes 5-7 days is insane! When you have a sick child you CAN NOT wait that long!

** If you're a new patient - offices who get your insurance information before you come to the office! That is wonderful! Plus if they can mail you the paperwork so you don't have to fill it out in the office while your children are running around mad or just plain sick.

** Offices who don't overbook!

** Drs. who don't rush!

1 mom found this helpful

Sure! Great idea..

Things I love about our Pedi!

1. All newborn 2 week visits are done at the babies home! They don't want babies in the office that young if it can be avoided.

2. They do not double book appointments..space patients out appropriately.

3. They have an after hours advice line in place...

4. The nurses in the office can give advice over the phone during the day so you don't need to go in for every little problem that can be handled at home.

5. The doctors actually ask personal questions..."tell me about your child?" "tell me about your family?"

1 mom found this helpful

We are very picky about our pedi, so this is a GREAT question! When we moved to East Texas, we kept our pedi in the metroplex because we never found someone that met my expectations. So...

LIKES:
* Dr that talks to the kids, not just the parents
* Dr that gives "old wisdom/ tricks of the trade" not just textbook knowledge. For example - our peditrician was a 3rd generation doctor, so he offered us old ideas that his grampa would offer to his patients, like give our toddler frozen french fries to gnaw on when he was teething.
* printed material at well-checks that offer more knowledge to parents.
* guidence on parenting issues (discipline, teething, sleeping, eating) and not just health issues.
* clean reception area -- I don't really need toys because I wonder if they are clean, but a fish tank, videos, fun music, bright artwork/murals, etc is child-friendly. Hopefully I won't be waiting in that area too long, so I don't need too much entertainment. :)
* Friendly nurses -- even if I wake you up at 2 a.m. with a "routine" question. I'm new at this, so it isn't "routine" to me.
* Before scheduling a sick visit, a phone consultation with the nurse to see if the matter could be settled with something over the phone.
* Doctor never seems rushed and takes time to answer questions. He even encouraged me to bring a list when I was a new mom.
* New baby weight check appointments were scheduled at the beginning of the day so the office was extra clean and sterilized from the previous day's sick visits.
* Weekend hours for sick visits. We even got to see the doctor on a Sunday because we called the after-hours number late Saturday night with a high fever.
* Medicine samples -- if you have them.

DISLIKES:
* Doctor so busy that I always had to see another doctor in the group for a sick visit.
* Too many unclean toys in the waiting area
* unclean waitng area
* torn, chewed, dirty books for children
* LONG wait time -- both in the reception area and exam room.
* Nurses that talked down to me or tried to minimize my concern
* sick and well kids combined in waiting area
* No phone consultations -- this one is related to the like in the above list. I really hated that I felt the pedi was only into getting my co-pay. Especially when I got into the office and was told, "Yeah, we've seen these symptoms going around. The best thing for it is an OTC treatment you can get at walgreens. Thanks for coming in."
* Dr. too busy to interact with my child
* Revolving door of employees at the reception desk. I felt there was a new girl every time I went in.

Okay, so that was my LONG list. Thanks for asking. :)

1 mom found this helpful

A lot of mom's are concerned with it taking too long to be get to see the doctor once you get there for your appointment....I get aggravated at that sometimes too, while I'm waiting, but once we go in and actually see the doctor I remember it's because she takes the same amount of time with me as she does everyone else...which is why she's behind. She makes each patient feel like the ONLY patient and never rushes you.

I believe a pediatrician should be a parent as well. Sometimes what they are taught in school is not the only or best answer. It's nice if they have experience to share. Our pedi has four children so she's seen and experienced it all!

A happy office staff is also important! It's a huge turnoff to walk in and have the receptionist be in a bad mood. Or to see a new receptionist every visit.

I also think if there are toys in the waiting room they should be only in the well room and that the well room should be a completely different room with a different entrance and receptionist. If that's not possible, then stick with art, television, fish tank, and comfortable seating....no toys.

An oncall nurse to answer questiosn after hours so you don't have to go to the ER when it could have been handled over the phone. And a quick response time to the phone calls received during the day. No need to schedule a sick visit for every little thing.

Last but not least, a doctor who is up on the latest technology with a modern updated office BUT still knows old school is sometimes the better treatment option.

1 mom found this helpful

D.,
From one pedi RN to another thanks for taking the time to ask the most important question!! I have a fabulous pedi and I loved her before she went into private practice but I love her even more now that she is. There are only 2 docs in the office. The nurses are all RNs most with PICU experience. We don't have to wait longer than 15 minutes. The front desk staff know who we are before we sign in. Both doctors know both of the kids and their various ailments. My pedi gave me her cell number and doesn't mind if I call her on a Sunday(granted it's for emergent things) to get her advice on what to do. My pedi returns my calls herself and she listens to me as both a mom first and then as a pedi RN. She's not one to push antibiotics on us for every sniffle but is aggressive when needs to be. They also always have sick visits available the same day and if necessary will stay after 5pm to get your child in. I hope this helps and thanks for being such a good RN and patient advocate!!

My biggest issue with doctors offices is having to wait forever. My favorites are those that don't over book. I don't understand why they make appts. if I have to wait an hour or an hour and a 1/2. What happened with the other appts. if I'm having to wait so long? Was the doc late? Did they over book? Did they alow too many drop in's? I just don't get it.

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