How many times have you felt "I have a dumb
question, but...." and then either not asked that question
or have forgotten to ask that question before leaving your Pediatricians
office? First off, there are no "dumb" questions. The
more you ask as a parent the more you know. No question is inappropriate,
foolish, etc. Most pediatricians want you to have your questions
answered, and you shouldn't be afraid to ask us. We do not expect
you to remember all about the differences between Otitis Media
and Serous Otitis, diarrhea management or vomiting, Strep pharyngitis
vs.recurrent tonsillitis, colic vs food allergies, etc. Asking
your physician about what is happening with your child is always
a proper priority and leads to better medical care for your child.
Sometimes however, there will be days when an office is so busy
or your pediatrician has been up all night, that everything that
should be said may not be said. Sometimes we just plain forget,
and assume you may already know all about the problem. But, remember
what you're in thedoctor's office for, and go ahead and ask the
questions which will help make things clear for you.
There are several reasons why parents forget to
ask questions they may mean to while in the office: 1) Some parents
may feel INTIMIDATED in the presence of the physician.Remember:
we're here to help your child, and you should understand how to
give the medicine, if or when your child should return to the
office, what's going to happen that afternoon or evening, over
the next few days, etc. 2) Some parents get too "caught up"
in dealing with keeping their child out of the doctor's drawers,
getting them dressed, etc....so much so that they may not TUNE
INTO what the doctor is saying. It's been shown that parents often
forget about 80% of the doctor's instructions. If you are one
of those people, don't be afraid to write down what your doctor
is saying (if he is not already giving you written instructions).
"Tune in"!...most of the time the doctor can "tune
out" the noise and distractions while in the room with you.
Focus on the medical aspects of your child's illness and your
visit. 3) Some parents feel that the doctor is too busy to answer
questions. Sometimes that can be the case . . . and we can occasionally
get quite ANXIOUS in our attempts to accommodate all of the distractions
and problems that me our way. But, it is important to have all
of your questions answered. Sometimes, other personal in the office
can help. In other cases, we can get back to you with additional
answers or for a longer discussion. So, if you have a question,
do not be afraid to ask it. It's usually easier for everyone to
ask while your in the office, but, if you remember something at
home and it's a question that's important for you to know, don't
hesitate to call back. It is frequently stated that nobody "TEACHES"
us to become parents. Thankfully, nowadays there are many resources
available to help with "parenting". We as pediatricians
are here to help you as a parent (your kids already know what
they are doing!).