By: Robert “Dr. Bob: Dabrow, MD, FAAP
“Never judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” This quote rings true now more than ever before. I’ve noticed a recent upsurge of complaints directed at my staff by frustrated parents or family members who feel that their needs are not being responded to quickly enough. These complaints often include yelling obscenities and being rude to my staff. Parents perceive that some flaw in the medical care system affecting their children is entirely our fault, but this is usually not the case at all. I’m saddened by this, and my medical office staff is getting frustrated with these behaviors.
We are all tired and extremely frustrated that the world as we once knew it is changing so fast due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Celebration Pediatrics is a small medical office of 5 providers, 7 medical assistants, and 5 front office staff. Unlike many of our local colleagues, we’ve managed to continue to see our current patients, perform physicals, provide vaccinations, see sick patients, provide consultations, and perform the usual operations of a pediatric office despite all the obstacles in our path. Since this spring, we have also been providing COVID-19 vaccinations to as many children as we can even with an overburdened schedule.
In addition, we are asked to prepare or sign hundreds of forms and assorted documents each week requested by parents, schools, specialists, daycares, and other health entities. We are also dealing with an ongoing backlog of children trying to return to school or daycare that missed well exams and vaccinations due to COVID concerns that also need to be seen as soon as possible. So many local physicians have stopped seeing patients, limited in-person care, or gone to entirely remote care. Our office has stayed 0pen despite the COVID associated barriers, and we will continue to meet the needs of our current and future patients. We will continue to provide extra sanitation in the office and attempt to limit in-person time spent in the waiting room. We have added office hours and increased our provider staff.
Not a day goes by that the office hasn’t added extra well or sick visits to an already crowded schedule to try and accommodate the needs of our patients and our families. Remember that our staff members also have the issues of COVID exposures, family obligations, and quarantines, which can make an already efficient and dedicated staff shorthanded for weeks at a time. The next time it takes a while to get through on the phone, takes longer than initially promised to get a referral, takes a while to have your phone call returned, or takes more time to complete forms that you brought in overdue, PLEASE TRY NOT TO TAKE IT OUT ON MY STAFF. They really are trying to accommodate everybody’s needs. REMEMBER THAT THE MISSION OF OUR PRACTICE IS TO PROVIDE QUALITY PATIENT CARE WHILE KEEPING OUR PATIENTS AND OUR STAFF SAFE. If something does go wrong, or you feel that our medical care was inadequate in any way, please let us know so we can try and understand the cause of your concerns and make changes if needed.
I became a pediatrician because I value the health and welfare of all children, and I will continue to do everything in my power to provide quality care every day to my patients.
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