Mothers and fathers see pediatricians so often that they are able to notice even the smallest changes in each other’s appearances. These doctors are deeply trusted and their words are believed beyond a shadow a doubt. But despite all this, there are a lot of pediatricians that parents should not trust with the health of their children.
Bright Side wants to share some indicators that it’s time to look for a new pediatrician.
1. Prescribes “immunomodulators”
Don’t mix the medications that doctors prescribe to support the immune system and immunomodulators that impact the DNA structure. Immunomodulators are used in Europe and the US to treat serious diseases, like cancer.
Outside of serious and critical health issues, “immunomodulators” have been prescribed by some pediatricians for their patients. But they actually have nothing to do with medicine and don’t have any proven positive effects. In order to check and see if a medication that your child was prescribed has been approved by clinical trials, you should go to this website and check. You will most likely not find these medications there.
2. Recommends expectorants to children before the age of 2
Expectorants are not designed for children who are younger than 2. The same goes for anti-cold medications that contain antihistamines and anti-inflammatory components. They can lead to serious complications in children under the age of 2, like an increased heart rate and seizures. Researchers are sure that colds don’t require any special treatment, they only need time to run their course.
In 2004-2005, in the US, there were more than 1,500 cases of side-effects caused by expectorants. After that, manufacturers increased the age limit to 4 years old. The medications that contain codeine and hydrocodone should not be given to children under the age of 18.
3. Prescribes homeopathy
Homeopathy doesn’t damage the health directly, but it can lead to negative effects because of the wasted time. Some homeopathy fans even warn parents against giving vaccines to their children, but this only makes the immune system weaker. Homeopathy doesn’t have any proven effects. The best thing you can expect is the placebo effect. Scientists don’t consider homeopathy to be real medicine.
4. Doesn’t ask for a colleague’s help when diagnosing
A distinctive feature of modern medicine is a close community. If a doctor only trusts their own opinion in a difficult situation and doesn’t ask for their colleague’s advice, this is a dangerous sign. A good pediatrician looks for treatment for their young patients and if they need help, they will not refuse it. Research has proven that not asking for advice is one of the most common reasons for errors.
5. Prescribes probiotics together with antibiotics
Digestive problems caused by taking antibiotics are seen in 11-40% of children. They are usually pretty light, don’t require any treatment, and don’t cause any fever. This means that prescribing probiotics is completely unnecessary. This is proven by the guidelines of the American College of Gastroenterology.
6. Doesn’t use gloves
Using gloves while examining a patient and watching hands before and after is perfectly natural. Despite scientific progress, some pediatricians and nurses still neglect these simple hygiene rules. This has also been recommended by studies. So next time you visit a doctor, pay attention to how clean the office is.
7. Blames the herpes virus
If a pediatrician has diagnosed something properly, they often prescribe tests for cytomegalovirus, and Epstein—Barr Virus. These are the variations of herpes. According to the World Health Organization, 67% of the entire population of the planet have this virus (3.7 billion people under the age of 50).
The virus itself rarely causes diseases by itself. A doctor that tries to explain a child’s condition using the herpes virus is actually ignoring the real reason for the illness.
8. Diagnoses your child with “dysbiosis” and “autonomic neuropathy”
There is no such disease as dysbiosis. It’s a condition of the microflora of the intestine, a microbial imbalance. The same goes for autonomic neuropathy which is often diagnosed in children and teenagers. There is no such disease in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases. This is a group of symptoms caused by some conditions. A pediatrician who diagnoses these things is not up to date with medical tendencies.
9. Talks to you in a rude and condescending way
Being polite and being able to communicate with a patient is one of the signs of a professional doctor. This is especially important for pediatricians. Your doctor might not have the “magic touch” that relaxes a child instantly. But if a child is scared every time they need to visit the doctor, and the doctor is condescending and rude, this may be something to worry about.
10. Changes the diet without testing
Children often have all sorts of rashes on their skin. For example, 60% of children have atopic dermatitis in their first year of life, and 90% of cases happen during the first 5 years of life. There are numerous triggers that could cause a rash and it’s important to find them before changing their diet.
A lot of different foods can cause an allergic reaction — from nuts to milk. Only testing can show the actual reason. And if a pediatrician changes the diet of your child without any testing, don’t hope for blind luck.
What factors do you consider when you are trying to understand if your pediatrician is a good doctor?