Why are pediatricians so bad compared to adults' doctors?

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Aspie1
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15 Sep 2022, 7:36 pm

Every time I saw a doctor as a child, it was nothing but horrible! They always acted callous, uncompassionate, and seemed to blatantly lack understanding of how pain feels to a child. Not that it's relevant or not, but all my pediatric doctors were women, and I'm male. (Although allegedly, women/girls have a higher pain threshold than men/boys.)

The above was true only for pediatric generalists. Specialists who worked with patients of all ages, but also saw me, were generally great. They were mixture of men and women. My urologist at age 10 was male, had excellent bedside manners, and I liked him a lot. His patience with my lack of understanding of his instructions to "turn and cough" was commendable! He took time to explain to me what he was doing, and what it was for. But I also knew at the time that his specialty was urology, not pediatry.

Most pediatricians I saw were horrible! They acted patronizing, while at the same time borderline sadistic. When they gave me vaccines, drew my blood, or did whatever other generalist pediatric crap, they seemed to enjoy seeing me in pain. Not only that, they ALWAYS brought up how scared I looked, with my parents in the room listening! Which meant me getting in trouble at home, and sometimes losing my cartoon-watching privileges that night as my punishment for "not being brave enough".

Well, my pediatric dentist and his assistant, who I saw at age 11 to 12, after moving cross-country, were OK. Their bedside manners were good enough, and they were good sports about answering my questions, but they still left something to be desired. Even so, they were the exceptions, rather than the rules. The majority of pediatric medical workers I saw as a child were garbage!

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Fast-forward to today. I developed pretty severe health problems in the last year or so. But when I went to a local hospital for treatments, EVERY doctor who treated me, from my Internal Medicine PCP, to the specialist performing surgery on me, to the radiology techs doing my PET-CT scan, were nothing short of great! Their bedside manners are impeccable. Their compassion with my skittishness during visits is top-notch! And their patience with me asking "too many questions" is commendable!

So... why are pediatric doctors so callous, and lack understanding of children's pain, while adult doctors' are so helpful, patient, and compassionate? (By "doctors", I'm referring to all medical workers, not just MD's.)



Twilightprincess
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15 Sep 2022, 7:49 pm

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So... why are pediatric doctors so callous and lack understanding of children's pain, while adult doctors' are so helpful, patient, and compassionate? (By "doctors", I'm referring to all medical workers, not just MD's.)

Pediatricians are not all like that. I had wonderful pediatric care, so I could ask the equally biased, nonsensical question: “Why are pediatric doctors so caring and compassionate?”

In all seriousness, doctors don’t administer shots or draw blood because they enjoy hurting children. The benefits of such actions usually outweigh the cons when they are performed by medical professionals who are familiar with a patient’s specific needs.


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CockneyRebel
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15 Sep 2022, 7:57 pm

I never had a problem with my doctors as a child. They all treated me with respect.


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Aspie1
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15 Sep 2022, 8:14 pm

Twilightprincess wrote:
In all seriousness, doctors don’t administer shots or draw blood because they enjoy hurting children. The benefits of such actions usually outweigh the cons when they are performed by medical professionals who are familiar with a patient’s specific needs.
Ms. Twightlightprincess, we meet again! :)

I get that pediatricians don't get into pediatry specifically to enjoy hurting children. It just naturally comes with the territory, given how painful most procedures are to children, while adults feel pain less acutely.

Still, why are pediatricians so callous and dismissive of children's pain and discomfort, while adults' doctors go out of their way minimize those things.

I thing agency is part of the reason. An adult patient reports to the hospital on their own accord, chooses their own treatment, pays their own medical bill, knows a good amount about medicine in general, can research their hospital and doctors online, and has the ability to sue for malpractice. While a child patient has no more agency than a puppy brought to the vet to be neutered.



Last edited by Aspie1 on 15 Sep 2022, 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Twilightprincess
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15 Sep 2022, 8:15 pm

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But why are pediatricians so callous and dismissive of children's pain and discomfort, while adults' doctors go out of their way minimize those things.


I’ve not experienced that at all.

This is about perceived, personal experiences, not reality as a whole.


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Edna3362
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15 Sep 2022, 8:51 pm

... I don't recall ever having a pediatrician. :o

I imagined that it must've been nice, knowing what to do with whatever bodily issues I had instead of outright ignoring it, pass it as some form of common malady that just ends after a week.

Partially because it's expensive if taken too seriously, and partially because I do not take it seriously and don't want others to take whatever I got seriously.


I would've been an ideal patient; not afraid of needles or pain that came with it, no issues taking meds, never feared any doctors visit or a trip to the dentists...
Only that I can't seem to verbalize questions that young. I'm not even good with that yet at this age.


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Aspie1
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15 Sep 2022, 9:25 pm

Edna3362 wrote:
I would've been an ideal patient; not afraid of needles or pain that came with it, no issues taking meds, never feared any doctors visit or a trip to the dentists...
Only that I can't seem to verbalize questions that young. I'm not even good with that yet at this age.
I'm the opposite: I pestered every medical worker treating me with science/technical questions about what they were doing, which they were very good sports about answering. While when I asked my pediatricians similar questions as a child, they all laughed in my face and never bothered to give me answers. To add insult to the injury, my parents scolded me afterwards for "being a blabbermouth". (The pediatric dentist I saw was good, though; he and his assistant did give me answers.)

I have only a slight fear of needles today, and it's mostly unnoticeable as long as I don't look. Which wasn't true when I was a kid; I was terrified of needles, which the pediatricians seemed to sadistically enjoy. Maybe "seemed to", but still.

My only real fear recently was surgery awareness, when I had my surgery under general anesthesia. (That means waking up during surgery, and feeling all the pain but being unable to move or talk.) But the anesthesiologist pumped me so full of propofol and fentanyl, that the odds of it were extremely low. He also put a brainwave electrode on my forehead, to monitor my state, so he could pump more anesthesia into me in case my brainwaves got too active while under. The nurses caring for me after I woke up were very kind and helpful, and the congratulatory pat on the shoulder my primary doctor gave me was nice. Plus, I felt euphoria for days after the surgery, due to the chemicals the doctor gave me and the care the nurses showed.

I'm truly FLOORED by how well doctors and other hospital workers are trained at giving respectful care to patients these days in nonmedical ways, from warm communication style to dignified touch. Sadly, it's just to adult patients. While I'm sure if I had the same surgery as a child, I'd get the same level of kindness as a pig in a butcher shop. Well, the nurses might have been OK, but that's about it. Not to mention, I wouldn't get propofol or fentanyl, just glorified aspirin.



Last edited by Aspie1 on 15 Sep 2022, 9:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

IsabellaLinton
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15 Sep 2022, 9:38 pm

I suppose you've never had your child's life saved by a paediatrician / paediatric surgeon.



Aspie1
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15 Sep 2022, 10:26 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I suppose you've never had your child's life saved by a paediatrician / paediatric surgeon.

I'm glad your child's life was saved. But...

Was your child HAPPY for it at the time?

When I had my major surgery at age 10, I wished to have died on the operating table! The surgery was nothing life-saving, just "necessary". Whatever! :roll: But my post-surgery pain was EXCRUTIATING! My parents didn't care and accused me of "whining", and my therapist mocked me to my face when I told her about it. All because I was a child.

While as an adult, I was given super-strong drugs street gangs kill each other over, and felt no pain at all upon waking up.

Perhaps children undergoing surgery should live out their recovery/aftercare time with foster families instead of their parents.



Dear_one
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15 Sep 2022, 10:51 pm

This adult's pediatrician was fine. My currently available doctors, nurses, and administrators spent three weeks wrecking my general health and setting my PTSD recovery back six months and without ever setting my broken thumb. Cave men did a lot better than that.



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16 Sep 2022, 1:54 am

Most pediatricians I have encountered have been excellent.

By the way, pediatricians do not generally give the shots nor do blood draws. The nurses give the shots and blood draws are usually done by someone from the lab.



Aspie1
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16 Sep 2022, 5:17 am

Pteranomom wrote:
By the way, pediatricians do not generally give the shots nor do blood draws. The nurses give the shots and blood draws are usually done by someone from the lab.
This wasn't the case for me. The same person did everything at my appointments. Then again, I didn't always go to hospitals. Sometimes I went to community clinics, where the "pediatricians" were really registered nurses or nurse practitioners. Which means only the hospital nurses were compassionate; the clinic nurses were as bad as the real pediatricians.

Well, as a child, I was too scared to read the letters after their name on their work badge, let alone knew what the letters meant. "MD", "NP", "RN", it didn't make a lick of difference. They were all equally sadistic, at least in clinics.

While today, I will not hesitate to ask a medical worker treating me for their job title and credentials. They always oblige. Then again, they probably already saw my patient chart at that point, and know I work for the city government. (Read: I'm a successful adult with good insurance.) While a child patient isn't much different from a puppy in a vet.



kraftiekortie
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16 Sep 2022, 8:01 am

Every kid doesn’t respond well to medical procedures. I raised a big stink over getting 2 stitches when I was 5. It’s not the doctor’s fault. It goes with the territory.

Your parents sound like they were doozies—taking away cartoon privileges because you were scared.

I’ve had plenty of childhood traumas. But now I’m grown up, and work at not being traumatized. It’s better than reliving your past.



Aspie1
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16 Sep 2022, 9:28 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Every kid doesn’t respond well to medical procedures. I raised a big stink over getting 2 stitches when I was 5. It’s not the doctor’s fault. It goes with the territory.

I had to get stitches once too, when I cut my hand pretty badly, and had to be rushed to the ER (A&E in the UK). I was 9 at the time. The ER doctors and nurses were amazing, as good as my current ones. They did everything nearly painlessly, verbally comforted me without acting patronizing, told me their names and job titles, and explained what they were doing at every step.

Plus, the shock factor of being in the ER and the workers' bedside manners nipped my fears in the bud. My hand was back to normal when the stitches came off a week later.

But again, they were ER workers who treat patients of all ages, not medical workers who specifically treat children. Since most ER patients are adults, they gave the same dignified treatment to me, as it was all they knew.



DanielW
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16 Sep 2022, 9:59 am

I can't say any Doctor I had as a child was any worse than those I've seen as an adult. I can see how things might be experienced differently by a child than an adult though.



DanielW
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16 Sep 2022, 10:00 am

I can't say any Doctor I had as a child was any worse than those I've seen as an adult. I can see how things might be experienced differently by a child than an adult though.