One of the most important decisions you have to make as a parent is the choice of pediatrician. Whether you are expecting a baby, or have just moved into a new area, or are simply no longer satisfied with your current pediatrician, you have the task of choosing the right doctor among the numerous pediatric services in your area. Many prospective parents call my office as they are searching for a pediatrician, wanting to determine if a holistic pediatrician can meet their needs. While different parents all have their own unique concerns, I have found quite a few commonalities among parents in the search for a pediatrician who will partner with them in the best interest of their children.
Here are the common concerns for choosing a pediatrician:
1. You want to raise your baby in the most natural way possible. When your child develops an earache, a stuffy nose or constipation, what should you do? You want to know safe and effective options that are drug-free if possible. You want to know herbal or homeopathic options for your young child. While most conventional pediatricians aren’t familiar with many of these interventions, a holistic pediatrician will be.
2. You want accurate information about vaccines and the choice of vaccination to be yours. After studying mountains of vaccine information on both sides of the issue, one thing is clear: there is a lot of misleading information pro and con. As a holistic pediatrician, I believe it’s my responsibility to know both sides of the issue, and objectively discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with you, the parent, so that you can make an educated, informed decision based on facts instead of fear.
3. If your child develops a chronic illness, such as asthma or ADHD, you want your doctor to investigate and treat the underlying causes of the illness rather than simply medicating the symptoms. In conventional medicine, many treatment protocols are based on managing symptoms of illness, and often physicians are unaware of the link between factors like nutrition and toxicity and the most common illnesses of childhood. A holistic pediatrician will search for and address the root causes of your child’s illness.
4. You want the visit with your doctor to be a reasonable length of time. Most conventional practices limit patient visits to 15 to 20 minutes which inhibits the ability of the physician to properly evaluate complex issues or multiple concerns. When confronted with a medical problem, such as chronic abdominal pain or a serious behavioral problem, 15 minutes is not nearly enough time to thoroughly evaluate and formulate an effective treatment plan. In holistic medicine, we ensure a significantly longer appointment.
5. You want a doctor who will listen. Statistics tell us that within fifteen seconds of a patient visit, the physician interrupts, usually in an attempt to help the patient get to the point. This is not done maliciously, but because there is such a time crunch in most physicians’ offices. But many mistakes are made in diagnosis and treatment plans when doctors don’t listen. Holistic physicians understand the importance of getting the “whole story” in order to determine how all the symptoms fit together.
These are the most common concerns that parents express to me in their search for a pediatrician. If this resonates with you, a holistic pediatrician is probably the right choice for you and your child.