Attachment Parenting

Switching to family practitioner

Hello :) I'm here looking for some advice. I've been thinking lately about switching my daughter (13 months), as well as my husband and I, to a family practitioner. I don't particularly care for her current pediatrician (she's been unsupportive of extended bfing, bed sharing) my current fp is retiring and would love the convenience of having my family all in the same practice. I'm not expecting that a fp will be an expert about certain AP practices, but might have a bit more of an open mind. I'd love to see a naturopath, but our insurance doesn't cover it and the out of pocket expense is too much. We breastfeed, bed share, nurse to sleep, eat dairy/gluten free.

First, do you use a familydoctor or a pediatrician?

Second, what questions would you ask when interviewing new doctors?

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Re: Switching to family practitioner

  • I happen to be a Family Physician but my kids now see a pedi NP -- they were reassigned from my pediatrician friend when she deployed a few months ago.   I would be more than happy for them to see a fellow FP though think it would be awkward for one the staff that I supervise to care for my kids.

    Good luck on the search. 

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  • I would ask about their general experience with children, for sure. I had to take LO to a family practitioner for a sick appointment once because his pedi was booked.

    The family practitioner sucked - she had the stance that she doesn't see kids often so she's "by the book" and wouldn't discuss my concerns about his allergies ("no allergy medicine is approved for kids under 2- pediatricians might allow it but I don't work with kids all day so I follow the rules"). She also failed to catch LO's strep throat because he was being uncooperative about letting her look down his throat and since she didn't often work with kids she didn't know what to do.

    I'm sure there are many many family practitioners who are great with children and adults alike-- but you need to make sure those are the ones you find.

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  • I *love* having myself, my husband, and my daughter all with the same FP.  She's good, refers out whenever she needs to, and works with our style.  I found her on the recommendation of a friend, actually, and switched my husband over later, and my daughter when she was born.  You certainly don't have to switch everyone at once.
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  • We go to a family practice.  There are 4 doctors there and several NP's.  We are able to see any of the doctors.  I prefer one woman doctor for myself (she's awesome with my care, but suggested that I let my LO CIO when she was still in the hospital).  The newest addition to their practice is a wonderful DO who is still BFing her 16 month old DD.  She's helped me vaccinate DD on a slightly modified schedule that I'm more comfortable with.  She doesn't understand all of my methods, but she gives her opinion and moves on.  Personally, it annoys me when my doctor tries to give parenting advice.  I want her to manage my LO's medical care and let me worry about the parenting decisions.  I'm quite happy with the situation we have now.

    Questions that I would ask would depend on the things that are important to you.  I want to know that my doctor is knowledgable about breastfeeding.  I also want someone who is willing to discuss issues with me and offer different options.  I would ask a potential doctor about their feelings concerning alternative vaccination schedules as that is what I am most comfortable with.  I wouldn't ask anything about sleeping, solid foods or any other parenting issues as I don't want that type of advice from my doctor. . .

  • My DH, 3yo DS1, 1month old DS2 and myself all see a FP and we love him. He's appropriately aggressive. He also has 4 kids under 6 and doesn't do anything to my kids that he wouldn't do to his own. I think that docs are all different, regardless of specialty. Some are super defensive and overly treat and some are lazy and wait too late to treat. There are some AP pedis think Dr Sears, Dr Jen,etc. I just like FP bc I BF and he can treat both of us. Maybe ask for recs from friends or at a LLL meeting. Good luck! Finding a good doc is hard
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