I want to start off by saying that my eldest child is 4 years old and he’s already had three pediatricians. I know–this isn’t making this post that promising, but there is a reason why and this will also help you come to a really good decision the first time around. I also want to say that I didn’t pick my pediatrician, I inherited him.
So the first thing I did was ask my OB/GYN who she used as a pediatrician. Lo and behold, she used the same pediatrician that everyone in my husband’s family used. His name is Dr. Wenger, and he is a saint of a man. In reality, the only negative thing about Dr. Wenger is his age. A lot of people don’t mind because, obviously age brings experience. But I was really adamant about my children having a pediatrician that would be with them until they were 18 years old. Why? I have no idea!
So I went back and asked my OB/GYN for a list of recommended doctors. I went through my insurance, saw which doctors were covered and of those who was closest to me. (I’m going to leave this pediatrician’s name off this post. Just because things didn’t work out with me doesn’t mean they can’t work out with you.) I called that practice, made an appointment to meet with the doctor before giving birth, and planned to ask him all the questions that I had.
When Santiago and I got to the meeting, it seems as though we weren’t the only first time parents to do this. He had a whole speech prepared. I didn’t get any questions in, but I felt that he knew what he was doing and I could see him being my children’s doctor for the long-haul.
I gave birth to Santi at 6:46 PM and this pediatrician was in my hospital room at 1 o’clock in the morning checking on my son. I felt like I had won the lottery. So far, all the boxes that I had made for myself in picking the perfect pediatrician had checked off. Except one. And unfortunately, it’s a big one.
My husband and I had no chemistry with him. I’m charismatic. I’m lively, and funny, I talk with my hands, I use my face so much I needed Botox by 31. I need someone that’s more my vibe, and not someone who’s bedside manner is in line with that of a warden. The last straw came when his partner was on call. My son had an ear infection, and they prescribed amoxicillin as they had done before. Except this time, he broke out in a horrible rash. He couldn’t sleep it was so itchy, and it was really really ugly. I called the doctor on call over the weekend and she assured me he was fine and to continue giving him the medicine. But my mom gut kicked in, and Monday morning I was in his office asking him what was wrong. His response was simple, “he’s allergic to penicillin.” No apologies for his partners missed diagnosis, and no words of comfort.
I left that office and never went back. I called Dr. Wenger, and immediately felt as though my child was in the best hands. He really was what everyone has made him out to be: the nicest, most dedicated, most special doctor I have ever met. And we had a really good run. He got to see Santi, he came to visit me in the hospital when I had a Joaquín, and most importantly, he treated my neuroses as actions of a good mother.
But, as I mentioned previously, he’s on the older side. So somewhere throughout my pregnancy with Antonio, a new doctor came into the practice. And when Covid hit, Dr. Wenger packed up his stuff and I never saw him again. Enter Dr. Trujillo, a.k.a. my third pediatrician. Even though we inherited him, we love him!
OK, now that you have the background, I’m not that crazy. Right? I mean, the first doctor was the worst and we had no chemistry, and second doctor was the best but he retired. NOT MY FAULT.
When I met Dr. Trujillo I was pregnant with Antonio, still working in Brickell and living at my parents house. I would get phone calls that Joaquin was sick and my dad would take him to the doctor or he’d meet me there with Joaquin. So sweet, right? I would promise him every. single. time that my dad was in fact my father and not my spouse. I think Dr. Trujillo met Santiago when he came to visit Antonio in the hospital when he was born.
Now, as far as I’m concerned, Dr. Trujillo really only has one thing against him and it’s that he’s crazy enough to have given me his phone number. Actually, he didn’t give it to me–he gave it to my dad. In one of the 1,000 visits my father attended. And really in his defense, I used to be normal. Before Antonio, my trips to the doctor weren’t as frequent and I wasn’t as neurotic. So other than the fact that he gave us his personal phone number he checks out. He’s nice, always on time, super available and my kids love him. PLUS, I’m the type of mom who wants medicine. If I’m going all the way to the doctors office, it’s not for you to prescribe herbal remedies–I want solutions–and he gives them!
I’ve learned through having his as my kids pediatrician that the following things are super important for me (this is where the unsolicited advice and help comes in!)
- You need to have chemistry with your doctor. You have to be 150% comfortable around them, so that you can ask all the weird crazy things you know you want to. I have never been shy about asking anything (as you can probably have imagined) and I think it sometimes even surprises Dr. Trujillo the amount of utter shit I can come up with.
- You can’t have a judgy doctor. Those are the worst. Like yes, I need to know if the fact that my son had COVID will give him erectile dysfunction. No I don’t need you to roll your eyes. BYE.
- Patience is key. It’s a famous saying because it’s true. Sometimes kids are loud and the worst. Sometimes parents are annoying and the worst. Patience is key!!!
- Their office hours need to work with your schedule. Availability is key guys! Having kids, especially multiple kids (with or without a job) is tough enough. Find someone who is open really early, or closes really late. I hate when offices close for lunch (eat on your own time!–just kidding)
- Their staff is just as important as they are. Remember the whole chemistry thing? Yeah, you need to get a long with their staff too. They’re the ones who answer your 800 weekly phone calls, schedule you in (at the best times with no wait preferably), and are the ones who see your kids before and after the doctor comes in.
- Their office location needs to work with your life. Decide if you want your doctor close to where you live or close to where you work. If you have little kids (or a liter like me), odds are you’re going to be there a lot. Make it easier on you!
- Have a good relationship. This is the second most important one (chemistry for me is TOP (omg I just died a little)!) I absolutely know for a fact that every time my doctor sees my name on his caller ID he wishes he never became a doctor, but he answers EVERY TIME! Every single time I get a text or FaceTime call so he can see my kids. THAT is dedication and making sure you nurture a good relationship.
So, in conclusion, three doctors later we are really happy. Our kids love him (well Chuchi doesn’t count because he hates everyone except his dad and nanny) and I have his cell phone number. The practice is amazing, the staff is nice, the doctor gets along with my DAD since he’s been at 89% of our visits and most importantly he is Santiago approved! Also, the other day he lost his cell phone number and he gave me his wife’s just in case I had an emergency. Official rating 10/10.
And no, I didn’t use it.