Building a Positive Relationship with your Child’s Doctor

As the mother of a child who sees five doctors on a regular basis, I’m learning how to build and keep positive relationships with each doctor.  My child has special needs. Along with a diagnosis of anxiety, she has narcolepsy and cardiac issues. But, this is important for any parent whose child may need a doctor for a virus, mono, or something more serious.

Be Prepared for Your Appointment

We try to arrive at least 14 minutes before our appointment time just in case there are new forms to fill out or someone has to use the bathroom. We appreciate that our doctor’s time is important. I write up a list of questions and concerns that we have and any prescription refills we need, and bring that with us. We are understanding when the doctor runs late if she spends quality time with my daughter. If we feel rushed for most of our appointments, then this is most likely not a good match for us. The only time, we may put up with this if the quality of care is extraordinary, but I will still speak up about the issue. I’d start with the office staff first, then with the office manager, then the doctor. If it can’t be worked out, there’s another doctor in our future.

Provide Information

Even if you’ve had your child’s medical records sent to a doctor, provide all information about previous surgeries, diagnoses, current medications your child is taking, etc. It may be annoying to fill out forms again and again, but you can’t expect a doctor to read through a medical chart to get the information you can easily provide. The questions are there for a reason. Also, let the doctor know about your child’s likes and dislikes, fears, personality traits or emotional issues.

Gain Trust in Your Doctor

Although you have the right and every reason to ask questions about your child’s treatment, to suggest treatments you have researched and to even get a second opinion, there comes a time, when you will have to gain the trust of your child’s doctor. This can be a long process, especially if you’ve had problems with previous doctors. It can come easily, especially if you all just click. It can depend on the doctor’s bedside manner, on his knowledge and experience, on how your child lights up when she comes into the room, on whether you can get in touch with him quickly if you have an emergency or a question.
As my daughter’s advocate, I want the best medical care for her. But I also want her to be respected by the doctors that care for her. I expect a doctor to see my daughter to be seen as a whole person, not as her diagnosis. There’s a two way street when it comes to building a positive relationship with your child’s doctor. Keep in mind how you act towards the doctor. Do you say thank you? Do you treat the office staff with respect? Inform the doctor of any new information about your child?

Do you have a good relationship with your child’s doctor? If not, what have you done about it?

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Connie Roberts

Professional Blogger
Living in the Tampa Bay area, I'm lucky enough to see beautiful sunsets almost every day. Although life can be difficult at times, focusing on the positive and being with my family is what gets me through.

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  1. I totally agree with gaining trust in your doctor. As a parent, this is always one of my issues. I get very picky with the doctors that’s handling my daughter’s medical needs, be it a regular check-up or something more complex. Not having that trust means, I’m never happy with whatever diagnosis nor care this doctor will give my daughter and it will only make me feel miserable in the process.
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  2. You have a lot more patients than me! I am looking forward to never dealing with doctors again! I hate the power of the white coat.

  3. I agree that it’s important to be considerate of their time, but I am so glad you pointed out the importance of them being considerate with the quality of time they put in with your child. I cannot count the number of times my son’s pediatrician breezed in and out so fast all we saw was the color of the soles on his shoes. Fortunately for us, his nurses are TERRIFIC and so we stay, but if it was based on his sole care alone, we’d have left a long time ago. Kudos for offering both sides in your write-up.

  4. My mom had to go through all of this with my sister who had a brain injury. These are very helpful tips and I am going to share them with my friends. Gaining trust can be difficult, but if you communicate openly that trust can be built up over time. 🙂

  5. Gaining trust has always been hard for me. With my daughter and her skin problems we have seen more Dr’s then I can count. Most of them push us off as if nothing is wrong or they flat out tell me I am wrong. And then there’s treating her like a guinea pig. So getting passed that is hard for me.

    These are all great tips though, but people also need to remember that just like everyone else Dr’s have bad days too so if you have a bad experience one time out of ten don’t immediately rush and switch offices. Give them a second chance if prior experiences were all positive.
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  6. I really believe in you that gaining trust has always been hard for some people. My daughter is still young and he has skin allergy that’s why we have to see and consult our doctors about this but there are times that the we don’t have trust about our doctor that’s why we have to practice gaining our trust and it seems it can be difficult, but if you communicate openly that trust can be built up over time.

  7. I don’t have a child. However, I failed my physical back when I was 16 for high blood pressure and a few other things. So, I had to see several doctors (and still do for checkups). My dad is in bad health. So, I ended up going to see some of his doctors because my parents already knew and trusted them. Plus, it made me feel more comfortable.
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  8. We used to have great trust in our children’s doctor…and then they stopped participating with the Florida Kid Care program. Now we are literally bumped from doctor to doctor and there is no continuity of care…this is just the beginning of government run healthcare and it isn’t working.
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  9. Wonderful tips, Connie. Thank you for sharing.
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  10. these are some great tips! i agree that it is important to have a positive relationship with your childs doctor. I am happy to have found a great pediatrician!
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  11. Awesome post! Something a lot of folks, especially with multiple doctors, do is create a binder to take with them to every appointment. It is a cumulative binder with notes, results, etc. of all doctors so that it is an easy reference. It can be overwhelming for some to go back and gather up so if it is even starting it from this point forward is helpful.
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  12. I find that the patients who are happy are the ones who were prepared.
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  13. Although I think that my daughter’s pediatrician is great (we’ve been going to the same doctor since she was a newborn), my experiences in general when it comes to doctors and their staff have not been too great. More often than not, especially with doctors who are good, they have back-to-back patients and the appointments are almost always full. I hate that we have to schedule way ahead of time to see a doctor (it makes sense when we go for check-ups, but completely ridiculous in cases when my daughter needs immediate attention). It has to be either a pre-scheduled visit, or an extreme emergency. For cases in between? It’s a pain trying to get a slot available.

    I don’t know if it’s just me or… but seriously, too many times I’ve come across grumpy staff in doctors’ offices. Sometimes I wanted to ask them, why work in this line of work if you’re not keen on helping people?

    What you wrote here, about doing our part of the bargain, provides a good reminder and check-list! Thanks for sharing this with us. Am definitely keeping these points in mind!
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  14. I love this article. I totally agree that trust is important! I have no faith in my son’s pediatrician. However, the NP in his office we LOVE! She is the only reason we stick around!
    Just stopping by while doing my Daily Karma!
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  15. My husband and I both enjoy talking to and trust our pediatrician. He has helped us a lot as the our boys. We had emergency visits with other dr’s and the attitudes/ “bedside manner” at the same office but we made a point to only get Dr M(cDreamy) from now on.
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  16. As much as doctors do not want to get personal with patients, I think being the person responsible for taking care of one’s health is as personal as can be. We, on the other hand, can make an effort to have a good relationship with our doctors. It adds to our peace of mind if we feel comfortable with them, and vice versa.

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