Pediatrician - Beverly Hills,CA

Updated on August 04, 2014
C.M. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
14 answers

My children's current doctor is not a pediatrician, rather a general practitioner.

Recently, she has been very lax or overboard in her care. For instance, she completely overlooked signs of blatant Autism for several years and challenged the diagnosing Psychiatrist's evaluation results. Another example, when my bloodwork came back- I was severely severely anemic (my red blood cells were damaged as a result and I had several disorders present in the results). Instead of calling me and explaining the results or having me come back in to explain the diagnosis- she had her nurse leave a message on my phone saying I was a 'little bit anemic and they're calling in an iron pill for me'. When the insurance didn't cover the iron pill- they did nothing, said nothing, and I'm still waiting for them to tell me what to do instead. When I showed another doctor the result- he said "whoa! This isn't normal at all" and he insisted I see a hemotologist asap. And the final straw came this week when I took my child for a routine check-up (scheduled a month + in advance) and I waited over an hour before finally going up to the receptionist and telling her I was leaving. I could understand if they were understaffed or it was the flu season- but people came in after me and were seen/left.

So my question is- am I overreacting? Would you fire your doctor and upgrade to a pediatrician for yours children?

What can I do next?

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answers from Washington DC on

doctors are just people. things get by them. 3 pediatricians missed my son's heart murmur and PDA. we had an awful insurance company that sent us to one brilliant doctor who uncovered it, then the insurance switched and off we went again. but i'll always be grateful to him. i believe he saved my son's life.
but the fact that THREE missed it beforehand tells me that it was pretty subtle.
you sound all round very unhappy with this doctor. i can't see any reason NOT to change.
but every one will be 'lax' or 'overboard' in some ways. medicine is not an exact science.

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answers from Washington DC on

You are not overreacting.

Get a pediatrician for your child. Pediatricians see all kids, all day, every day, and have more experience with kids, period. If they are any good they also get continuing education in pediatric medicine so they should be better versed in the latest developments that affect children. A GP won't get that kind of specialized training. When you are shopping for a pediatrician, ask if the doctor(s) get continuing education; also look for a separate "well child waiting area" where kids who are just there for routine checkups or shots can wait separately from kids who are sick; and ask if they have a "nurses' triage line" or similar line where you can call and talk in detail to a nurse who helps determine if your child should come in or not -- this is a huge help in deciding if a kid's fever is one to keep home or one the doctor needs to see....

For yourself: GPs can be fine for adults but I think you need to "fire" yours. Anemia can be a very serious condition and lead to hospitalization -- yet your doctor apparently was far off the mark and just ordered "iron pills" which sounds like something my mom's doctor would have talked about 50 years ago. The doctor should have known that iron supplements are available over the counter -- why would she even talk about ordering prescription ones unless there was something special about them?

The fact that another doctor pushed you to see a specialist right away says volumes. (Did you indeed see that hematologist for a full work-up? If not, please do - you do need to take it seriously.)

A pediatrician isn't an "upgrade" in any insurance sense. Insurers have to consider pediatricians as primary care doctors for children and if your insurer says that a regular pediatrician doing check-ups isn't covered -- that is a crock and you need to call the insurer out on that! Ped. for the kids, new doctor for you. I'd go to the one who made the call on the anemia being serious.

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answers from Toledo on

It's very important for you to find a doctor you're comfortable with. If you have doubts about this doctor, move on. You don't need to justify it. You just have to find someone you like and trust.

Not sure what you mean by upgrade, but I really do like it that my kids' primary physician is a pediatrician. Her focus and experience is with children. It's her specialty!

Find someone you're comfortable with. And for heaven's sake, be more proactive!!! If your doctor (or nurse doesn't call you back, call them again. If it's past your appointment time, nicely approach the receptionist and say, "Excuse me, but our appointment was for 10:00, and it is now 10:15. Any chance we'll be seen soon?" What the heck are you waiting an hour for?

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answers from Chicago on

I prefer a pediatrician over a family doc for kids.

The fact that your insurance didn't cover your iron pills isn't the doctors fault, it's your insurance policy's fault.

I wouldn't wait an hour before asking why the wait was so long. It sounds like you have lost confidence in this doctor. Time to find one that you trust.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

C., in order to give good medical care, there needs to be a rapport between the doctor & the patient. It sounds like you have a lot of valid concerns, and as a result, are questioning your doctor's attention to important details in your (& your children's) care.

I would suggest looking for a new internist for yourself, and perhaps an appropriate pediatrician for your kids.

A number of years ago, my insurance changed & I had to find a new doctor. I thought I had a good one, nice "bedside manner", seemed to listen. Then I realized that anytime I brought something up, she would refer me to a specialist for tests she could have ordered herself, costing me time & money for the extra visits. The final straw was when I had a number of issues come up in a short time period, she patronized me & said "You're young, you're healthy, I wouldn't worry".

Well, I got some advice & signed up with a new doctor, who listened to my concerns, ordered 3 basic tests, & diagnosed me with a circulatory problem that needed treatment & asthma.

It is always important to have a doctor that will listen to you, take your concerns seriously, explain what they are doing, and why, or why what is going on is not something to be concerned about. And if you don't have a lot of medical knowledge yourself, to have a doctor that you -trust- to do the right things in the right way. It sounds like you don't have that, so please do check with your insurance plan & find a doctor that will better match the needs of your family.

T. =-)

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answers from Springfield on

I'm sorry I didn't say this first. If you're having doubts, it's ok to just go and find another doctor. Your comfort level and your health is what's most important. You need to feel good about going to the doctor and taking your kids to the doctor. If you don't feel good about it, change doctors. That's reason enough.

I know it's not possible for you to include every detail, so please forgive me if you've already done these things and just didn't mention them.

I think it's quite possible that my 5 year old has Autism. Our pediatrician told us she not qualified to make that diagnosis. He was seen by a behavioral, pediatric psychologist who did not believe he met the criteria for Autism. One of his therapists disagrees. We are going to see a developmental pediatrician to see if we can't get a definitive answer.

I don't think a general practitioner is at all qualified to make that determination. I'm sorry that she challenged another professional's diagnosis. Did she give you a reason? That would frustrate me for sure!

As far as the other two concerns go, based on teh information you gave I think you definitely could have been more proactive (maybe you were and you just didn't mention it).

Iron supplements can be purchased over the counter, which is probably why your insurance refused to pay. I've had that happen several times, and the only reason the insurance company gave was that it was available OTC. If she needed to call it in, she probably wanted you on a very high dose. When your insurance refused to pay, did you notify your doctor and ask what you should do? (Because it sounded like you just expected her to know that your insurance refused to pay, and I don't think that's something she would know unless you told her.) All you really needed to do was clarify with the pharmacist the dosage she wanted you on and how to do that using the OTC iron supplement.

When you were waiting with your child for the routine check-up, did you check back at the receptionist's desk 15 minutes after your scheduled appointment time and then again 15 minutes later? At our doctors' offices there are signs saying to let them know if you are still waiting 15 minutes after your scheduled appointment. I have to admit, our doctors are usually very, very good about staying on schedule. But they are only human, and sometimes Nurse Suzy things Nurse Kim is taking care of you and Nurse Kim things Nurse Suzy is taking care of you, and so you get missed. If you say something right away, they will check and make sure you are the next person in line. I would never wait an hour before letting someone know.

I've been very lucky, because most of the doctors I've had were very, very good. But I'm not at all shy about calling back if I have a question or feel at all like they've missed something. I try to be very nice about everything, but I am persistent.

But I am also very appreciative that my boys have a pediatrician. I've been very pleased with our pediatrician - she has never rushed me and has really listened to my concerns about our 5 year old. She has also been very thorough and has picked up on things that other doctors might have missed.

My husband and I see a general practitioner. We really like him!!! He's great. But he agrees that our boys are better served by a pediatrician. I'm sure he would do a good job, but I'm happy with their doctor as well.

ETA - Just an FYI after reading Leigh's response, my OB had me take iron supplements when I was pregnant with my, now 8 year old. Those I bought OTC. I had sever bleeding when he was born, and she prescribed iron for me then. So it is quite possible for you to be prescribed iron. But just like ibuprofen, it can be prescribed in higher doses.

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answers from Wausau on

Where I live, a pediatrician isn't an 'upgrade'. It is simply who you take your children to see. In terms of insurance, regular pediatricians are simply GPs for kids, they are not considered specialists.

We 'fired' our firstborn's pediatrician after two misdiagnoses, which were delivered to us in a horrible "god complex" kind of way complete with yelling. We filed a formal complaint against him and were not the only ones to do so.

Peds are good and bad, just like any other doctor. In any case, your GP sounds like she sucks and you need to see someone else.

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answers from Los Angeles on

There's a joke in the medical world: What do you call a med student with a C average who's passed the boards?


Just because someone has the degree doesn't mean they're good. It sounds like it's time to find a new doctor for you and your kids. That could mean a good family practitioner for the entire family or a pediatrician for your kids and a GP or internist for you. You should feel like you can trust your doctor, that he or she spends enough time with you to answer all of your concerns and questions in a way that you can understand (that is, plain English), and that your doctor really listens to you. Your doctor should also be willing to work with your insurance company to guarantee that you get the treatment you need.

One way to find a doctor is to get a list of doctors accepted by your insurance, that do a little research about them online. can provide good information and you can also get information from the doctor's linkedin page if they have one, and some docs now have their own websites. You can also schedule an appointment just to meet the doctor and interview them about their health care style and philosophy.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

A doc is a doc. Sure, a lot of people take their kids to a pediatrician but they don't have a magic wand that helps them determine an issue. A good doc, not matter what letters come after their name, will follow an odd test and get the patient working towards a good result.

So no matter what you do you must decide if the doc is a good one or one that can take a pass as far as your family is concerned.

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answers from Milwaukee on

Obviously you aren't overreacting. Im a little shocked that you haven't already left. Not all doctors are good. Autism diagnosis is not hers to make or refute, why are you discussing it with her? Go to an autism center with a qualified pediatric psychologist. Ive been buying iron pills (ferris sulfate) over the counter since 1987. Lots of places run their offices more like "clinics". The protocol is to book 3-4 appts in each slot so that if someone doesn't show up they won't loose any money. All of the people probably showed up in your slot that day. The doctors get paid for how many people they see so its to their advantage to make you wait. This happened to me at Loyola once, I waited for and hour and then asked why I was still waiting, the receptionist explained this secret b/s to me. I left and never went back. Now, whenever getting a new dr of any kind I ask, Is this a clinic? Do you over book? How long is the typical wait when you have an appt. The receptionists are usually pretty honest. Your time is worth money too.

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answers from San Diego on

I do not compromise on healthcare and safety when it comes to myself and my family, and these are all personal choices. I have always used a pediatrician for my children and will only use someone that the kids and I are comfortable with on an emotional level and also for me, on an intellectual level where I feel respected and cared for. I am not an alarmist mom but I do quickly bring them in for things like ear pain.

For myself, I personally fired my OB/GYN when I came to her with my second pregnancy after a positive pregnancy test (we had been trying for 6 months). She said she could not find a heartbeat and that I had an ablated ovum (dead fertilized egg), so I should have a D&C because I had large fibroids. I protested and said I preferred to miscarriage naturally. After much debate, she told me to get another ultrasound at a different facility - voila! They found the heartbeat and NO fibroids.

Take control of the situation. If you're not comfortable, walk away and find someone different.

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answers from Chattanooga on

I prefer a pediatrician for children. They are trained specifically to oversee the health and development of children, and are less likely to overlook a problem. General practitioners are fine, buuut they just do to receive such specialized training. If you are looking for a new doc anyway, might as well find one specifically for them. It would be a different story if you knew an awesome general practitioner, but yours seems to suck. Lol.

And I would definitely fire my doctor for what you describe... You are supposed to be able to trust your doctor with your life... And the lives of your children. If you can't trust your doctor to treat you, then it's definitely time to find a new one.

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answers from Erie on

I would fire my doctor for those kinds of things. We've never used a pediatrician, though, always family docs for us.

Oh my, I never meant to infer that a pediatrician was a bad choice! I've simply never had one, so I can't give advice on that part of your post.

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answers from Las Vegas on

Just by asking the questions indicates that you are not comfortable with your current doctor. Definitely get a new one for you and your kids.

1 mom found this helpful
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