Pediatricians When I was a Kid vs. Today

When I was a kid, I remember my doctor really taking care of me. There were just things that doctors did that were expected of them, such as:

  • If a wound was dirty, the doctor would clean it
  • If medicine needed to be prescribed, and the doctor’s office had some, they would administer the first dose in the office
  • If a sibling looked to be suffering from the same ailment, they wouldn’t have to be setup with a separate formal visit
  • Multiple prescriptions might have been given at the same visit (e.g. “try this first, if it doesn’t work then try this”), saving multiple office visits

After taking my son in to be looked at for Pink Eye, I was amazed at how much things have changed.

We didn’t clean his eyes before the visit, to make sure that the doctor saw the discharge. She looked at his eyes which were all goopy, and didn’t even clean them out when she was done.

I guess they didn’t have any eye drops on hand to offer the first dose onsite, but even if they had, they wouldn’t have done it anyway.

His sister’s eyes were also starting to get goopy, and it was a good bet at the time that she got what her brother had. Of course, the doctor couldn’t offer any suggestions for her, she needed a separate visit because “she was not in the system yet”. Along those lines, she told us that his sister couldn’t use his drops because she was under a year old, and they typically use an ointment instead of drops. I guess I just wondered why she couldn’t have prescribed both meds for him, and let us use the ointment on her, since she was clearly progressing along the same lines as her brother.

I don’t know what the reasons are, maybe it’s fear of lawsuits, maybe it’s financially motivated to increase office visits, maybe it’s just a shift in expectations that’s occurred as a result of limited time and budgets. In any case, it ain’t what it used to be.