Warning--this is long!
First, let me say that I sincerely miss Dr. Paul in Glendale, NY (reviewed HERE). Dr. Paul is the sweetest, most knowledgeable pediatrician that we have ever come across. He once saved the life of a choking newborn in his waiting room by sucking the mucus from his mouth and nose with his own mouth! You don't find doctor's like him every day.
And the nurses at his office were so amazing--particularly Yissenia and Chris in Glendale. Andrew loved them and he loved Dr. Paul--and so did my husband and I! I don't think we're ever going to get over not have him as our pediatrician anymore!
That said, we tried out the Stony Point office of Clarkstown Pediatrics yesterday and my unease with them made me miss Dr. Paul so much more. From the moment I called up Clarkstown Peds' appointment line and it took 20 rings for an automated message to answer, I became a bit wary. After deciphering what button I needed to press for appointments, I was passed over to the billing department to have my insurance verified. Nobody picked up in billing, so I left a message and received a callback and verification a half-hour later (not bad at all.) Finally, I was passed back to the appointments desk where I was set up with an appointment with Dr. Brian Quinn in Stony Point for the very next morning.
We arrived early for our appointment so that I could fill out the required paperwork, but when I walked into the office, the receptionist did not even look up to acknowledge me because she was on the phone. After 15 minutes of waiting and Andrew playing with the decent-enough toys in the waiting room, I walked up to the desk again to see if maybe I needed to sign in. After finding no sign-in form and not getting a word from the receptionist, I just grabbed a clipboard that had some forms on it and started filling it in. Finally, after maybe another 10 minutes, the receptionist hung up the phone and gave me some forms to fill out.
We were ushered into the examination room by a sweet nurse named Patty. She weighed and measured Andrew (I think she measured him wrongly, though, because they have a free-standing ruler rather than one connected to the table and she recorded him shorter than he was a month ago). Then she informed me that they take all temperatures rectally up until the age of 3!! What? They can't use the ear thermometer like most other doctors? Andrew is super strong now--I wanna see her try to get a rectal thermometer into Andrew's behind when he's kicking you in the face at 2 1/2. So strange.
Dr. Quinn came in and he was nice. (His full bio and picture are HERE.) He checked Andrew out, was very kind and sweet to him, answered my questions, and when we met in his office after Andrew's vaccinations, he printed up helpful articles on biting and sleeping through the night for me. What I found strange, though, was that he gave the OK for Andrew to get 3 vaccinations even though he had a cold. I should have listened to my inner mommy instincts because my poor little boy now has a fever. (Dr. Paul would have never given him that many shots in a row and not even one shot if he was sick!)
I think maybe the most terrible part for me was that a nurse or nurse-practitioner (I'm not sure--I didn't catch her name) came in to administer the vaccines and she literally had me lying on Andrew to keep him still as he thrashed about crying and she jabbed the needles into his leg. It was heartbreaking! He has never reacted this way to a shot before, and I understand that maybe he was under more duress because he was in a new office, but it still gave me a negative feeling in my stomach.
Finally, on my way out of the office, I tried to book Andrew's 18-month appointment in two-months time so that I didn't have to call the automated system. The receptionist said "Oh, I don't have that schedule up yet, so just call us in a week." Um, I've made appointments as far as 6 months out at other offices... I just didn't get it...
The bottom line: I have friends who go to doctors at Clarkstown Ped's other offices in New City and Nanuet, and they swear they are great, but I am going to try another practice all together. Maybe because I was spoiled by having Dr. Paul, but I really prefer a practice that is much smaller. I want a person, not a machine to answer my phone calls. I want a doctor and staff that will remember my son--and it is hard to do that when you have a million patients.
Is this too much to ask? I don't know... but I'll keep you posted, as always, on my search. If any of you Rockland Moms and Dads out there have recommendations, please let me know!
Friday, May 13, 2011
Warning--this is long!