"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Group Thing

Two years, I've been with the same OB office now, and I am still undecided about the whole "group doctor" thing. There are 9 in my practice. I have met all of them, and like all of them except one; the one who, when I was bleeding in my 8th week, told me (coldly), "Well, you'll just have to wait it out for the next 72 hours to see if you miscarry," and hung up. Without a goodbye, or a "I realize it's not easy for you to hear this..." or something a little more cushiony. (I need cushion. Sugarcoat away.) The funny thing is, the more I seem to not like her, the more I seem to keep getting an appointment with her. The practice is uberbusy, and they really have to work at getting you in for an appointment. You can request a doctor, but if you're looking for a certain time, you gotta take what you can get. My group has a really good reputation and the women's hospital is down the street. But I've found that not all of the doctors in the practice have the same opinion on everything. So now it's kind of like a personal joke to me, I poll the doctors at every appointment, asking them all the same questions I've asked the others, because I am interested to know all their different answers. Some are passionate about certain foods, others couldn't care less. I've found that two out of three believe whole-heartedly in the progesterone shots I am taking. One said it probably doesn't matter. At my last visit, I found out I was now considered a "high risk" patient because I saw the big red letters splashed across every page of my chart. That's funny, because when I asked the doctor I had in the previous visit if I would be considered "high risk", he said, "No. We don't base a high risk pregnancy on previous pregnancies. And since there are no problems popping up right now, you're ok." I asked a different doctor after seeing my new label on my chart if it was simply because I started the shots, and she said, "No, it's because you had a previous premature birth and you were pre-eclamptic last pregnancy."


So, as a journalist, I can appreciate the group thing because it is like getting a free second opinion at every visit, and from this, combined with my own research, I can flush out my own opinion. It's important to be your own advocate, after all. And it's a little scary to wonder that if I had one doctor, with one opinion, forever and ever, would I be getting the right care? On the flip side, that doctor would know me very well, instead of the nine doctors who randomly get me and have to see my chart to remember my name. And again, on the flip side, I could know my one doctor really well, but on "labor day" he/she could be unavailable and I would deliver with some doctor I've never met ever. Oh the quandry. I just can't figure it out. I do like the intimacy of just one doctor. But I do like the fact that no matter what, in a group, I will know my delivering doctor, whomever I get. I guess I wish that as a group, they were more unified in their answers and views, even on things as simple as which herbal teas to avoid.

So here's the question, because I am so curious to find out what you other mothers out there think.

Do you prefer a group practice or one doctor?
I had a group practice. Loved it!
I had a group practice. Hated it!
Just one doctor for me! Loved it!
Just one doctor for me! Hated it!
pollcode.com free polls
Please leave me a comment and tell me what you think!


Sparky Duck said...

OK, Mrs Duck has not done the kid thing, yet. But she has still dealt with tons of doctors, so she has an opinion and likes the idea of one doctor as opposed to a group.

Oh and im sorry, I forgot to put u in my reader until now!

Mom not Mum said...

I had my first 2 children with a single doctor. I really liked him and I think it was important, especially with a first child, to have consistency every visit. There was also no question that he would be at the birth. With my daughter I had moved so I needed a new ob. I decided on going with a midwife - mostly because that was the practice that finally had space for me. I saw a different midwife everytime and it was very interesting. I leaped for joy when I knew I got a midwife the last visit who would schedule an inducement. I delivered with a midwife I had never even had a chance to meet. It was all a wonderful experience though. So there I am - thinking there is something good about both sides of the coin. (But if I had been to a practice of male DOCTORS I don't know if I would have liked being bounced from dr to dr.) - was this long enough?

Michelle said...

I wasn't sure how to vote - I was with a group of midwives here and got to know quite a few of them - but on the day of labour I had never seen my midwife before. I think a group is better, but it's pointless if the group is massive like mine appeared to be!

Robin said...

I had a midwife as well, she did it entirely on her own. They did call one of the other Dr.'s at her practice to come in for my second baby, due to her SIZE. Never what you want to hear, right? But he did nothing, she was amazing..a true angel in my eyes.
I like the personal touch, love being taken care of by a female person.
But, I also live in a small town, so that is just part of the deal I think!

Laura said...

with 5 of my pregnancies i had one doctor and loved it. he knew me through and through and i am thankful he was there with my miscarriage and credit him for preventing my 4th daughter's potential preterm delivery when my water broke 14 weeks early.
i was with a group practice when lost twins at 20 weeks. too many docs who only saw me once or not at all and i do believe i got lost in the shuffle as similar issues came up with baby #3 and my single doctor took action asap.
oh and this was in a big city, both single doc and group practice.