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Avoid Long Waits at the Pediatrician

Tips For Speeding Up Your Child's Next Trip to the Pediatrician

A visit to the pediatrician's office should be a breeze. Walk in, see your doctor, and walk out in no time. Unfortunately, it doesn't always go that smoothly. For many parents, a visit to their lil one's doctor involves taking a full afternoon off of work to sit in a room filled with other tots' germs before being seen. While many practices offer separate waiting areas for sick children, nobody likes sitting and waiting. To speed up the process, follow these tips:

  • Ask for either the first appointment of the day or the one after lunch. Doing so will reduce the chances that the doctor is already running late.
  • Book appointments for the middle of the week. Mondays and Fridays tend to be filled with lil ones who were sick over the weekend or want to be seen before the week comes to a close.
  • Call before going in for the appointment. The receptionists should be able to provide some guidance about how closely the doctor is running to her schedule.
  • Schedule well-child checkups in the Summer, if possible. With so many families taking vacation and a lack of cold weather viruses, doctor's offices tend to be less hectic throughout the Summer months.
  • Prepare a list of questions before arriving at the office. Doing so will help make the office visit go more smoothly and will avoid you having to chase after the doctor as you think of more questions once the exam is through.
  • Call a few days in advance to see if you can drop off school/camp forms so they will be ready when you arrive for your appointment.
Join The Conversation
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I'd rather have the dr run behind a while and sit in the office for 2 hours, then have a doctors office that refuses to fit in sick visits. I just have my daughter pack her backpack with toys and books, and i bring snacks and a book. It's worth it to me to know i can get in same day if something happens to us.
amandachalynn amandachalynn 7 years
Not all school forms can be filled out before your visit so they're ready to pick up the day of. Many of them need medical info on them, and if your kid hasn't had a physical in the last year, they will not fill it out before seeing your kid. Also, you can always call the receptionist to see if the Dr is running on time, but even one patient in front of you can end up taking longer than expected. I once had someone call me ahead, and the Dr had been on schedule all day, and as the Dr. was leaving the patient right before them, he asked the Dr to look at this weird 'scab' that ended up being MRSA. Things can always go awry!
schnappycat schnappycat 7 years
Some doctors I know (my husband is a doctor and can confirm this) don't even really take lunch breaks or close their offices at lunch any more. They tend to eat on the run in between appointments. I know my pedi actually schedules last-minute sick visits around or during the lunch hour to squeeze in more patients. I think it's only offices that officially "close" during the lunch hour where the after-lunch appt. time works really well.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I actually lucked out because my husband and I went to a family doctor that we really loved, shes like the best doctor ever, so we took her there as soon as she was born. They actually have their own ped now though, because we fell in love with the on call ped at the hospital when I gave birth and asked her to take us on even though she was full. She was just so on top of things, called us back immediatly, had a great bedside manner, and is great with kids.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
I still can't believe I have to pick out a ped soon.. MissSushi -- how far along in your preg did you look at different peds?
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
i actually disagree with number 1. I'm almost always told by the nurse to decline the first apt, becuase they often schedule several people in, as well as try to fit people in at that tiem should someone be sick. Also, i LOVE apts right before lunch because they are on their way out and less likely to mosey. I pick a dr willing to sit and listen to me, so i dont have to worry about being rushed.
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