Welcome back to the last few pointers for tips and tricks on finding a good OBGYN. You can check out part one here if you haven’t already/ to refresh your memory. So let’s get cracking…
5. Doctors who don’t give you time aren’t worth it- Trust me. I have been to Fernanadez, and I really do not understand what I paid for in the consultation. I do not doubt the doctors credentials or experience, because I hardly spoke to her for 5 minutes. She was too busy running around, patient hopping. Practo gave me good information about her, but what’s the point in paying 500 for a consultation, all to end up meeting a student doctor? I was appalled also because I have a high risk pregnancy and was recommended by my OBGYN to continue treatment there as they are more “equipped”. I had only one appointment and that was enough trauma to ever go back or even recommend it to anyone. A lesson I learned while at Fernandez is that doctors have now mastered the art of drama. Money making depends on how many patients can be admitted in “emergency”, and for procedures that are truly not required, taking advantage of the patients vulnerable condition. I am not anti-making money, doctors work hard to educate themselves and climb up the career ladder, but making money through means of manipulation in any field is not tolerable to me. Apart from the fact that your own hard earned money is used in such unnecessary procedures, it’s the anxiety that you didn’t ask for that takes a toll on you.
6. Go with the baby daddy- A mans view on things makes a lot of difference when you’re already hormonal. The beauty of being pregnant is in the irrationality of it all. We women can’t deny it, no matter how independent you are. The morning sickness, cravings, mood swings all make it difficult to even pay attention sometimes. Get the baby daddy involved. Make the decisions together upon discussion later, but let him be present, ask the questions on his mind, it’s his baby too, and he has to take care of you. Here I would also recommend to go to hospitals that allow you to have your partner with you. Be it in scans or consultations. Sometimes there will be too many patients going in and out and they may want to restrict entry of males for privacy reasons, but request the doctor that you want him to be present when discussing your condition, you may be asked to wait for some time, but it will be worth it.
7. Second opinions are your right- Don’t be afraid to take second opinions on the minutest of things. Advice in India will come from all directions, and if your doctor doesn’t seem convincing enough, take a second opinion in the same nursing home or hospital, or another. It may initially lead to confusion, which is fair enough, but eventually you will know you made a decision after hustling. Also note, doctors who get offended if patients have taken a second opinion are not worth your time, they don’t care about you, they merely care about themselves and their ego. Granted they may have accumulated decades of experience, but you haven’t! and they have no right to dictate your considerations. In the end it’s your body, your pregnancy and your baby.
8. Check out the facilities- Not just the room, the pediatric facilities at the hospital/nursing home as well. You can go around to the NICU or the pediatric unit to find out about the same, don’t hesitate in building information. I have done it, at so many hospitals, and you will be grateful and happy in the end. You owe it to your baby.
9. Read documents- I was surprised that Fernandez asked me to sign an acknowledgement that my doctor may not be available for consultations, delivery, complications etc. And me having a high risk pregnancy was taken aback by that. Maybe this won’t be such an issue in a normal pregnancy. However it’s important to know the timings of your doctor and when she would be available. Apart from emergencies there may be arise a need to take an appointment prior to the date set, and in those cases it’s even more crucial to be able to meet your OBGYN and not someone else. They may be qualified, but they’re not the doctor you’re consulting.
10. Expensive and popular hospitals are good- A belief most of us have, but may not be true. Yes they may be cleaner, with a better ambiance, well dressed staff, a polite reception person but trust me not all are what they seem to be projecting. Delivery and several OBGYN procedures have been performed since centuries, you are most likely to end up paying close to a fortune for the ABC of gyneac procedures. You can call other hospitals near you to find out about their charges just over the phone. It’s obvious that a big hospital has more payments to make in terms of salaries, and upkeep of the vicinity, all of that is added to each and every procedure. You may sometimes find that scans and procedural tests are cheaper at reputed diagnostic centers. Simply confirm with your hospital if they accept that particular diagnostic centers reports, and if not, what reason do they have. Based on the confidence of the response from the person, and other signs go ahead with the diagnostic center, the doctor won’t send you back for them. Trust that these diagnostic centers aren’t running a game, and you have the right to be a sound consumer who has the right to be money savvy. Save up for the delivery and other big procedures, and get tests and or scans done at a diagnostic center near you. A trick while speaking to the concerned person at the hospital is to tell them you’re staying very far away, and travelling isn’t possible, with the morning sickness etc. their tone will completely change. The people who sit in the pathology department aren’t trained to be money suckers! They know how simple a test or scan is. Two things may happen, either they will tell you which diagnostic center to go, or be clear that the prescribed test/scan is complex and requires to be done at the hospital. You can have this discussion over the phone or in person, I have tried both. In person both you and your partner can be present, but stay calm, and listen. You don’t want to sound like you’ve already made up your mind.
Being friendly with the staff always helps. The nurses that check your BP and weight, the reception staff even the dayaas. They all work hard, and don’t earn their fair share of income most of the time. Being friendly with them can also help in gathering inside information, or just simply getting some extra emotional support. Trust me in pregnancy you will want all the emotional support you want. I would also advice to not break any hospital rules by bribing anyone or giving money. Your kindness should be sufficient, have trust in the human being you are. Making a person smile on a hectic work day will do wonders for their self-esteem than a note. Get them a box of sweets as a display of gratitude, that would be better.
Have you liked any of these tips? Do you have any you want to share? Leave them in the comments below and spread sanity!