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Which Doctor Would you Choose?

Old-fashioned horse sense or cutting-edge training? There’s something to be said for both.

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics. This week’s Moms Talk relates to selecting a pediatrician.

Every parent eventually faces the tough job of selecting a physician for their child – whether prompted by a move to a new area or a change in insurance carriers. There are lots of factors to be weighed during this decision-making process, to be sure. One of our Moms Council members recently struggled with this challenge and ultimately had to select between an older doctor who had been in practice literally for decades and a younger, newly trained practitioner who was clearly well-versed in the latest and greatest in the field.

Which brings us to this week’s Moms Talk question:

Which doctor would you choose: the older, experienced physician or the newly educated, highly trained younger colleague? And, perhaps more importantly, what factors would go into your decision?

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mother of two. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 14-year-old and 8-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is 3 and a 6-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Lisa Merk November 11, 2012 at 05:03 PM
When we moved here, a certain physician was recomended to us by our peditrician. When we got here, it was clear that it was not a good fit. I felt he didn't listen to me, he acted superior and he knew what was best for my children - even if that meant slephing a child with 103 fever to two different hospitals and then back to his office! We switched as soon as we could to another practice. The doctors we switched to were younger, but they listened to what I was telling them, and they also knew one day when I brought my one child in, it was beyond their capabilities to treat him and immediately found someone who could - ultimately saving his life. So I think it doesn't matter which doctor you chose, it needs to be the one who you can feel comfortable with and who will LISTEN to what you are telling them. I think the best doctors are the ones who recognize there are limitations to what they can do, and are willing to help you find the best care possible for your child - even if it isn't them.
Beth November 11, 2012 at 06:11 PM
I went on recommendations of co-workers to choose a pediatrician and have been fairly happy with the decision. I think it's very difficult to find someone that you feel comfortable with and is a good physician. Our doctor always takes the time to help educate us on different developmental milestones and safety precautions that should be taken at any given age. He also seems to feel comfortable referring us to specialists when necessary. Our very first experience with him while we were in the hospital after delivering my daughter, was so memorable. I'll never forget when he sat down with us and suggested we write a journal to our daughter-individually. Then, he recommended, when she turns 18 you can give it to her. At that moment, I knew we had made the right choice.
Lisa Amey November 11, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Luckily, we use a pediatric office that has multiple doctors. I feel that they all have their strengths. Some are old school, and some have less experience. I like that I can be flexible with who I choose to see within the same practice.
Jennifer Elston November 12, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Great topic! My pediatric office has a blend of experienced and new doctors. I prefer a doctor with some experience to a newly graduated doctor. However, there is something to be said for the fresh-faced doctor who has learned all the most recent research. If I need a second opinion I can go within my pediatrician's practice to find it. I'm interested in what others have to say.

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