You dare call yourself a doctor?!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Last Friday, Big Buddy’s fever rocketed upwards and my instinct told me that something was not right. What with him being ill for close to three weeks with a runny nose and phlegmy cough.

Actually he just went to the pediatrician last Monday with the same symptoms but the pediatrician was adamant about not prescribing antibiotics. I was fine with that decision that time as I am not particularly into dosing young children with antibiotics unless it is necessary

The first thing that irked me on this repeated visit was the counter staff. Big Buddy’s medical records were misplaced. I tried to help them narrow their search by informing them when my son last visited the clinic, thinking that perhaps the attending nurse that fateful evening had stuffed it into some allocated cubby hole that they could then check. The response was a frosty stare, along with a casual instruction to her colleague to prepare another blank folder for my son.

Was I being impertinent? No, I did not think so. My tone was polite enough without a hint of accusation. I did not like her nonchalant attitude but tolerated it as Big Buddy really needed his medication.

When we finally went into the consultation room, I gave the pediatrician a factual run-down of Big Buddy’s condition since there were no medical records to refer to and finished by expressing my concern over the prolonged period of illness. In the next instant, I was totally shocked by the pediatrician’s reply.

He said that he does not trust what parents’ tell him, that parents tend towards over-dramatization of symptoms and he will usually disregard what parents tell him. All this said in a high whiny voice in imitation of how parents must have sounded to him, with hardly a hint of apology but with lots of eye-rolling and a smirk on his smug face.

I was incredulous and utterly disgusted with his holier-than-thou attitude. Granted that some overly-anxious parents do paint a worse picture about their child’s condition, but should he not understand that it probably stems from worry more than anything? As a trained physician, should he not have sifted out what he perceived as facts and at least maintain a professional image by not offering his biased views? Finally should he not seek to reassure patients and their parents rather than belittle others and make known his obvious disdain?

This is not the first time I patronize this clinic because it happens to be the pediatrician nearest to where I stay. Friends of mine and I have groused over his lack of bedside manners but this time, he has really gone overboard by displaying a total lack of respect for others. Coincidentally, this pediatrician is located in E**** Mall, the same place where another terrible doctor practises. What is it about this mall that attracts less-than-desired doctors?

Since last Monday, I have brought Little Buddy to another pediatrician. Her charges may be higher but at least, she, along with her staff, offers assurance along with medical intervention and none of the rudeness of the former!