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.
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?