They say a good man is hard to find, but I am in having the opposite dilemma in that I have found two good men and now I can't decide between them. Let me clarify, I have found two great doctors, pediatricians to be exact, and choosing which should be Snow Pea's doctor is proving more difficult than I could have imagined!
If you follow me on twitter or know me in real life you may have noticed my recent obsession with picking the brain of anyone who has ever dealt with pediatricians and getting their perspective on what they did and didn't like about their baby doctor. In the end, everyone comes to the same conclusions- I should go with who I "click" with best and who offers the best services and strategies to suit me and my style, always remembering I can change doctors later. The problem is that the two practices I am trying to decide between can both easily fit that description but for different reasons. Both have flaws but none of them deal-breakers, and both have great qualities but none of them enough to outshine the other. Basically, I like the doctor at one practice a bit better, but I like the overall conveniences of the other practice a bit better. It all comes down to which is more important to me, but I don't know what that is yet.
So I am asking for yet more help, advice and input on the matter. If you have already given me your two cents, please don't hesitate to do so again. I would be more than thrilled to hear what you have to say one more time because there is a good chance I have already forgotten parts of it.
So here is the breakdown. We'll start with Doctor A. Doc A is in a solo practice which means we will only see him and he would be able to really get to know our baby, but it also means that if he is out of town or sick we get a "temp". It also means that if he is very busy we could have a long wait. When we met him he gave the impression that he provides very individualized care for each child and takes the time to get to know the whole family in order to best meet each child's unique needs- he doesn't take a one method fits all approach. He has a well baby schedule of exams every month for the first six months and then at 9 and 12 months. He vaccinates with 2 shots at a time using this monthly schedule. He located on the same property as the hospital we would use if we ever needed to (heaven forbid). It's very close to home and the drive is easy but the parking can be really bad depending on how busy the hospital is.
Doctor B on the other hand is a member in a group practice that has six different doctors. He would be our primary pediatrician but if the office is busy or in case of an emergency we would be able to see one of the other docs. Everyone in the office is friendly and easy to talk to but they don't seem as individualized in their care. Everyone in the practice, including our favorite doctor, basically just follows the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics when it comes to medical care, although they did say that they often turn to each other for opinions and advice when needed since they all have different levels of experience and background. They follow the 2,4,6,9, 12 month check up schedule and the CDC recommended vaccines at each visit. They are a bit farther and require a freeway to get to but with the carpool lane it is not too bad and their parking lot is much easier to navigate.
Both docs have sick and well doors/lobbies, nurses to answer emergency questions after hours, and similar weekday only office availability. They are both very supportive and encouraging of breastfeeding which is important since I very much hope to nurse exclusively for the first six months.
Basically, I like Doc A as a doctor and I like Doc B as a practice and unfortunately I cannot combine the two. So now I am trying to figure out what matters to me more. I keep looking at the big differences and trying to choose which I am more comfortable with and I just don't know. On one hand I can see monthly visits being overkill, on the other I can see it providing Snow Pea with an extra level of care. With vaccines, I am initially more comfortable with the idea of breaking them up, but then I wonder if getting them out of the way all at once wouldn't be easier on the baby and on me. I have heard from many moms that baby's first shots are an emotional experience. And the logistics matter too because I know a doctor's visit will be that much more frustrating for Snow Pea and me if we have to hunt for parking or wait for hours to be seen.
So please, pretty please, if you have ANY insight or advice on any of these points, please feel free to share! I know that I won't really know which is the best fit until my daughter is already a patient, so I would love any real world experiences since I don't have my own yet. Is the monthly schedule overkill or is it a welcome way to know more about what's happening with your little one? Did your baby still get fussy and feverish with a split vaccine schedule or did it seem to lesson the side effects to break them up? Is a great doctor worth waiting for or would you rather see an ok doctor and be able to get in and out? I know everyone has a personal preference and no one can make these choices for me, but the more I hear about the reality the easier it is for me to decide which option fits our family best.
I honestly had no idea this choice would be so difficult. I almost wish we hadn't decided to interview more than one doctor because then it would have been much simpler. We like the first one we met, just as we did with our RE and our OB, so we would have picked him. Normally I would just blame my usual indecisiveness for this difficulty but Chad has been just as hard of a time and for all the same reasons. We both keep going back and forth because there is no clear right choice. In the end though I know that either choice is a good one so there is no losing, just deciding. We'll get there, just hope we can do it sooner rather than later- only 7 weeks to go!