To the Very Nice Doctor I Saw Today:
Thank you for your concern and interest in my children. I appreciated that you looked my children in the eyes and talked to them during their well-check appointment. I was glad that you weren't as distracted as I was by an 18 month old driving a truck around the floor while the 8 year old regaled you with the stories behind his various mishaps, stitches, etc. You were polite, thorough, and personable. I liked that a lot. As a bonus, we thought your office was well stocked with toys and books and the decor was the best I've ever seen in a medical practice.
You may not have noticed, however, that I was quite nervous, even sweating, as we talked about a few things. I have strong convictions about medicine and food; I'm probably not the kind of mom you want in your office. Yet, I didn't say much to you. You see, I don't like conflict and I really don't like to go against authority figures (you!). On a few issues I did raise my questions but you didn't seem to believe that I could know what I was talking about. I was tense. And we didn't agree. And I'm not sure I can come back into your office knowing how I will feel during each visit when we disagree.
You want my children to drink more cow's milk. They don't drink any right now. You are concerned for their calcium. I'm not; they eat lots of vegetables and I think calcium is more bioavailable in whole food than it is in dairy products. You think they should use calcium supplements. I will not use calcium supplements because they have been shown to actually leach calcium from the very bones they are supposed to be protecting.
You think we should fully vaccinate all of our children and ought to come in as soon as possible to push them through the process. I expressed that we did not want to proceed with the full prescribed battery of vaccines. There were a few vaccines I mentioned not wanting to give to our children. You told me that they were safe vaccines and that I ought to hedge my bets by protecting my children as soon as possible.
We have never given our family flu shots. You think we should. I expressed that the flu shot may not even protect against the flu strain that will be passed around this year. While you did agree that this may be true, you think it is still much safer to get the vaccine than to have the flu ("for a week"). If I had come to the appointment better prepared, I may have shared with you that "the truth is that flu shots, even in the best case the industry can come up with, really only prevent the flu in 1.5 out of 100 adults." You said it was still better to get the vaccine. I said that we are putting our money and effort into nutrition and prevention.
Today I didn't come to your office armed for combat. I'm just a mom, after all, trying to do what I think is best for our family, seeking wisdom from the Lord and following my husband's leadership. In so many ways I was pleased with our experience today. I'm not sure, however, that I can feel good about continuing a partnership with you when our values and decisions are easily dismissed and I am hesitant to divulge too much information about what we are/are not doing. In truth, I'm a little scared of you (even though you were very nice). What will you do when I fail to follow your advise? What will I do when I need a pediatrician and can't find anyone closer/available? Maybe I'll pluck up my courage and gather up my children and compile my resources and visit you again.