I was sick last week, strangely, mid-winter flu sick. I was also on vacation so it was a double-suck situation. Luckily, we were on vacation at my in-laws which is only twenty minutes south of our house so I could travel back to my own doctor which I did out of desperation on day three. I almost never go to the doctor as my past experience has been that you wait for hours after your appointment time to get in only to see a professional (almost never the actual doctor) for less than ten minutes and maybe you leave with some relief but often you leave with more questions. I am not a big fan of adult doctors, as you can imagine.
The morning of my appointment The Girl woke up complaining that her chest hurt. Usually, I would pass this off as too much time in the ocean (remember those days?) but she looked pretty panicky every time she tried to take a deep breath so I threw her in the car with me in the hopes a doctor could take a look.
I have the strange fortune of having a Family Doctor. Remember those from the good old days of medicine? They are doctors who can take care of the whole family. They’re almost like an endangered species now that everyone has a specialty and you often have to be in four different offices for one problem. We got lucky when we found him which we only did because he is married to our pediatrician. So, (Mr.) Dr. Mehra is our the GP for mom and dad and Mrs. Dr. Mehra takes care of the kids. Ya follow?
We see Mrs. Dr. Mehra A LOT. I mean, three kids? We’re in there weekly it seems. We adore her. Not only is she efficient and gets us in and out quickly, but she is also kind and gentle, thorough and personable, realistic and everything else you want in a pediatrician. She gets us in and out without every making us feel rushed.
She has been with me and The Baby for every bizarre thing I take him in for and she was there when The Middle One has his breakdown after we moved. She holds my hand every time without a hint of condescension and advises me how to proceed that will most benefit my babies and me. I love her. Truly.
I almost never see Mr. Doctor. The Husband goes for antibiotics once a year and I get reminder calls for physicals that I never follow up on. He seems lovely, but I really don’t know for sure as my aforementioned distaste for adult medical doctors keeps me away more often than not.
Well, last week not only did Mrs. Doctor sneak in my girl for a quick check-up, but she spent a good deal of time examining and explaining her diagnosis and treatment. Turns out it was nothing serious, but it was more than too much ocean swimming-though She confirmed that is something She sees so I’m not just making it up!
After Mrs. Doctor left our room, Mr. Doctor came in and spent so much time talking to me I thought I might be in therapy and not checking for Strep. He asked a million questions, took all my vitals (himself!) and then explained his thoughts so thoroughly that I fell in mad-doctor love. The kicker was when he faxed in my prescription so I didn’t have to wait at the pharmacy, then spent a good five minutes going over the written chart he gave me that had a schedule for when and how to take the meds to ensure optimum results and go easiest on my system. At this moment, when I started to get a wee bit antsy, I gave myself a mental slap and reminded myself that this was the kind of medical treatment most people dreamed of.
I knew I adored our pediatrician. Now, I know I will stick with my big girl doctor and eventually transition my kids over to Him too when they’re old enough. In all the current media madness where all we hear is how we have to reform health care or how everything is turning to minute clinics and doctor pill pushers, it’s good to be reminded that there are mostly still doctors out there who genuinely care. There are doctors who remain true to their oath to do no harm but also step it up a notch and really get to know their patients and work hard to make their lives better. There are great doctors out there and I know for sure some are right here in Jersey.
*This post was inspired by the book In Stitches, a memoir by Doctor Anthony Youn, a plastic surgeon with a heart. The book is surprisingly funny and a great read that will restore some faith in the medical community. Dr. Youn isn’t just a good doctor. He’s a pretty entertaining writer as well. For more inspired posts, visit The bookclub site From Left to Write.
** I was given a copy of In Stitches by the publisher for review. All opinions are my own.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.
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I'm a big fan of the family doctor…we have a great one, and I love it!
I so love them too!!! In fact, I'll never forget when i called for a question about my little guy, thinking most likely the nurse would just call me back. The Mrs. herself called back! I said, "Dr. Mehra, I'm so sorry to bother you, the nurse could have called back" and she said" Oh no no, I always like talking with my patient's parents myself." I actually forgot that this is what really Great Mds do and should do!!!
Aunt Julie says
I also have a family doctor. Although I don't go to her very often (as my endocrinologist has become more of my primary doctor these days) the few times a year I do go she is great. Even great enough to call in an RX to a Jersey Rite Aid when I "got allergic" over Easter weekend. So I can say there is a least one great one in MD.