What Pediatricians Should Know Before Speaking to their Patients

Has it ever happened to you?

You bring your kid to the doctor and they just start talking to you like your kid’s not there.


Pediatricians remember: Kids hear what you are saying and understand a lot of what you tell their parents.



Pediatrician and patient
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


When my son was 6 years old, he was really short.

My pediatrician began to discuss his height with us, and told us in a very serious manner that my son’s height doesn’t even plot on the charts, and that he would like to send him for further tests to rule out any abnormalities.

He proceeded to refer him to an endocrinologist for a wrist scan to check his bone age.

After this episode my son definitely became more self conscious about his height.


pediatricians remember


I had a similar episode with my son’s ENT, who we were meeting with to discuss a possible adenoidectomy.

He very emphatically stated in front of my son that removing his adenoids will really hurt.

After the appointment my son ended up obssessing about the impending surgery, and crying he didn’t want it, for three weeks up until the surgery.

P.S. His post-op pain was minimal.


All it takes is a little thought before meeting your little patients!

And for Moms and Dads, a little reminder to the pediatrician before your visit can’t hurt!


For the flip side, see What Not to Say to the Pediatrician.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Debby

    I am a pediatric ENT and understand what you are saying but physicians still must be honest. Adenoidectomy does not hurt but tonsillectomy is extremely painful. I say that in front of kids but talk to them to let them know how to make it better. I have parents who don’t want kids to hear the word surgery and kids freak out when the day of surgery arrives. I recommend that after every physician visit, parents should plan to debrief them and review what was discussed no matter what the topic is. Physicians need to say what the problem is and what we are going to do about it. Most kids do not get upset, they ask questions. Teaching kids to ask us is also helpful and we know that they hear us!

    December 28, 2018 at 10:01 am
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