LETTER: Pediatrician Fires Mom When He Finds Out She Refused To Fill Daughter’s Antibiotics

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The author has chosen to remain anonymous.

My name is Cynthia. I am the mother of two adorable girls, ages 5 and 9 respectively. Like many of you, parenting is a trying time in life; it’s a challenge, but a challenge I am honored and fulfilled to experience.

And like most of you, I am often put in the position to figure out what is best for my children’s lives, whether that be involvement in what they eat, read, or even medically. For any parent, it is often those decisions which carry the most stress in our lives. You just want to know you are doing the right thing, but the fact is, sometimes that’s completely impossible, and you only have hope to go on. You HOPE that your gut instincts which led to your decision ended with the most favorable result.

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Last month, I went to my 9-year-olds Pediatrician because she had what seemed like symptoms of a cold. She was neither in awful condition nor good condition. It was enough that she had to miss the first few days of school.

I went ahead and took her to see her pediatrician. After a series of routine vitals, the pediatrician came to visit us. He asked a few seemingly forced questions and pretty much just started writing on his pad.

“Here, fill this.”

It was a prescription for antibiotics. I responded by saying, “are you sure? I just really wanted to make sure her cough wasn’t too bad are you sure antibiotics is the right move?”

Look, I get it. I can see where that would be possible offensive, but in the end, he’s here to serve us. I simply asked a question. In fairness of the story, I certainly wanted to be upfront with what I said.

“Unless you suddenly became a Doctor, then yes, I am correct, and you are incorrect.”

I was unimaginably offended!

Now at this juncture, if I already was unlikely to accept antibiotics, then you might be asking, “well why did you go anyways?” The reason is that I do like that Doctors can check for things such as pneumonia, or, say, find something off in bloodwork. Beyond that, I’ve never been huge on just giving antibiotics.

The second question you might ask is, “well haven’t you been to him before?” The answer is “yes, sort of.” He’s new to us by about two years. We’ve never had any issue with him prior. And as I stated before, it isn’t as if I go to the Doctor overly often nor do I just run to the pharmacy with an RX script unreasonably. Our most intimate contact with him was when he prescribed a splint for this same daughter after she sprained her ankle in soccer.

What happened next was like being hit in the side of the face with a sledge hammer. A week later I got a call from the Doctor’s office. I returned the call thinking this would be a simple follow up call regarding the last visit. By this time, I’d really forgotten about the awkward exchange (as any mom knows, life moves with speed and chaos at all times, not like you can just hang on to every little interaction).

The Doctor’s nurse got on the call with me and told me, “we regret to inform you that we feel it is in the best interest of you, your family and our practice that you find a new pediatrician.”

I was stunned! Of course, I asked for reasons, only to get different versions of the same stock reply each time. And of course, I reconsidered the gravity of that awkward moment.

This one stuck with me. I was befuddled. I thought about calling back or even walking in there to speak directly to the Doctor, but I also realized that nothing could be said anyways to repair the damage, so it wasn’t worth it.

Over a little exchange? Certainly, all Doctors get questioned about prescriptions, right?

A couple of days later I went to CVS to pick up some school supply needs. When I passed the pharmacy, the pharmacist who knows us rather well called out to me. He asked me if I could grab my prescription.

I told him there was “no need, she’s better.”

He said, “Oh wow, OK, not the impression I got. The Doctor himself called us to ask if prescription had been filled. When I told him that it had not, he seemed concerned. So I was slightly concerned myself.”

So apparently he was so offended by my question that he followed up to find out if I’d denied his recommendation for antibiotics and then when he wasn’t satisfied with the answer, he canned us. This is so incredibly disappointing, however, I am thankful to know his true colors and be able to just move on.



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