My boys have been going to the same pediatrician since Luke was born, and I have always been happy with the care she’s given them. The nurses and assistants in the office are fantastic and always treat my boys like they are their favorites, so I have no complaints there. I chose our doc because I actually knew her before I was looking for a doctor; I was her son’s “teacher” for 6 months at a previous job (I will explain the quotation marks some other time in another post).
However, there have always been problems with a couple of things.
The first is the wait to speak to a nurse on the phone. If you call in with a question for the nurse or because you have a sick kid, you are put on hold until one of 2 phone nurses (one of whom is awesome, one of whom is not) can answer your call. During busy times (say Sept-Apr), it’s not uncommon to wait 15 minutes to talk to a nurse. This can be a problem.
The second is this: while they are usually great about getting you in the same day if you have a sick kid, the waits can be atrocious. Even worse, when you have an appointment that is scheduled ahead of time, you often still wait a long time. By long time I mean anywhere from 2-20 minutes in the waiting room, then a nurse takes you to a room and takes vitals, and then you might wait for another 1-45 minutes in the room (generally, I’d say we wait 20 minutes in a room). Our last two appointments have been really bad. And, they’ve been early-morning appointments. I just cannot wrap my brain around an office that opens at 9 and a doctor who is running 45 minutes late, meaning a 9:45 appointment happens at 10:30.
Sidenote: I get that doctors have a lot on their plate, and that appointments don’t always go as smoothly as scheduled. I’m not asking that we be seen the minute we walk in. Our office seems worse than normal to me, though.
Third: since our move, the office is now a good 25 minutes away from our house, and not in the direction we generally travel.
So, I’m planning to switch doctors. I’ve gotten a great recommendation for a practice that’s closer to us from 3 different moms. Plus, the doc I want to take them to is a man, which I think is a good idea going forward since I have all boys. Plus, I’ve inquired about calling in and how that works, and it sounds much better than the situation we have now.
My dilemma is this: I feel bad leaving our current doc, because I really like her. Not like we’re so friendly that we’d go out for lunch or anything, but I feel like she’s been with us through so much: horrible allergic reactions, millions of cases of croup, etc. I feel like I owe her an explanation as to why we’re leaving, and I want to be honest about the phone time/appointment time being a real issue. Should I do this, or just walk away and request their records be transferred? That just feels wrong.
Have any of you had an experience like this? What would you do? How long do you wait on the phone/in the office? Help!