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The Perfect Doctor For You

by Allison Hutton |
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I believe that the importance of a good doctor-patient relationship is never more necessary than during pregnancy.

I have been through several doctors, and the relationships with each of them differ dramatically. In fact, you can begin to evaluate your doctor before pregnancy, if you desire. It is becoming more common for couples to "interview" potential caregivers ahead of time, ensuring that the relationship will be a positive one during pregnancy.

Please don't get me wrong-I am not into doctor bashing, nor am I claiming to be a medical professional. However, I have found that there have been many instances where I have been more knowledgeable about issues in my pregnancy than my doctor. I completely understand that doctors are human, and they do have your best interests at heart. However, when it comes to the health of my baby (an myself), I am not ashamed to speak my mind, or question a doctor's choice of care.

First and foremost, you need to decide on the type of care you wish to receive, as well as the type of patient you are. For example, do you prefer that your doctor take the lead where medical decisions are concerned? Do you feel you need to be an integral part of your own care? Are you, what some consider, a "high maintenance" patient? Do you believe in questioning decisions that, you feel, may not be in your best interests? Once you have decided upon ideals like these, you need to let your doctor know what to expect from you.

I recently had to leave the OB of my dreams, when my husband took a new position several states away. After years of dissatisfaction with the doctors I had been seeing, I had all but given up hope of ever finding a doctor that treated me as a human being, taking the time to explain anything I felt necessary, and never rushing a visit. After suffering four early miscarriages, I naturally had concerns when I became pregnant again. I was given an open invitation to stop into the office, at any time, just to hear the heartbeat. I knew my doctor was doing all of the worrying for me, and she stayed on top of everything that was going on. If I had a concern, she would call be back personally, to discuss it. Although I don't feel that these are extraordinary measures for a physician, they do appear to be qualities that are hard to find these days.

In the town we now live in, I felt extremely lucky to land "the best doctor to be had." Neighbors swooned over how lucky I was that he would take me. After all, he was very hard to get into. So, imagine my surprise when, after seeing him for several months, and being in my 8th month of pregnancy, he told me that he had no idea why I was on Heparin for pregnancy-or the fact that I had a blood clot in my leg after surgery. For all of the months I had been seeing him, he thought that I was on a blood thinner as a "mental" thing-to ease my mind. When I recently began feeling faint, with pulses over 200 beats minutes, and my heart skipping every 5th or 6th beat, imagine the shock of hearing "don't worry about it. I'm sure it's no big deal." My husband insisted on coming to the next appointment, and now I am going to see a cardiologist. If the baby wasn't coming in just a few weeks, believe me, I'd be busy searching for another doctor!

My point is, you need to find a doctor you are comfortable with. While I am sure my present OB is a very nice man, and to many, a fantastic doctor, he is not what I am comfortable with. I don't feel it is my responsibility to ensure that my doctor has read my records, and understands why I am receiving the care that I am. Your relationship with your doctor should be an open, honest, upfront, and friendly one.

If you are really lucky, you will find a doctor that you will consider, to a point, a friend. Most importantly, don't feel you need to stay with a certain physician out of loyalty-they are getting paid to word for you. And in any other situation, if someone isn't getting the job done, you need to find someone else who can. Good luck!

My name is Allison Hutton. I was recently introduced to the Baby Corner by Elizabeth Geiger, and have found it to be a wonderful resource for those trying to conceive, those who are expecting, and those who are already parents. I am a stay at home Mom to my beautiful daughter, Hannah, and wife to my wonderful husband, Daniel. After a long journey battling recurrent pregnancy loss, we welcomed our daughter into the world on St. Patrick's Day, 1999. Motherhood has been the most challenging, exhausting, and rewarding job I have ever had! In my "spare" time, I enjoy freelance writing about issues dealing with pregnancy, parenting, infertility, and women's health. I hope to provide some insight to pregnancy, as well as information that can be difficult to find on the web. I look forward to becoming a part of the Baby Corner, and hope to make a difference, no matter how small.

Allison is a contributing editor for The Baby Corner as well Editor of Pregnancy after Miscarriage at Suite 101.

Visit her webpage at http://www.geocities.com/allies_girl/


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