Yearly check-ups at your pediatrician’s office are an important part of children’s health. The quick sports physical you can get at school or an urgent care clinic cannot give you the care that keeps you healthy.
Your pediatrician’s office can give you broad, comprehensive care because we know you. We can discuss old issues such as past headaches or stomach aches. We can check your height and weight and be able to compare it with last year’s measurements and make sure everyone is growing well. We can make sure school is going well and development is going as it should. We can make sure vaccines are up to date; and this is not an issue that ends when they are toddlers. Teenagers need vaccines too. We can ask how the past year went. Have there been any accidents, new medications, specialist visits? Maybe there was a reaction to anesthesia when they had their wisdom teeth removed. We can follow up on any of those issues. We can give you guidance about what to expect over the next year. Should they try music lessons? When should we start talking about chores and allowances?
Urgent care clinics just can’t give you that comprehensive care. They don’t have your records. They don’t know your history. They don’t know your family.
One of the most important things I’ve noticed over the years is the relationship I have with my patients. I can remember most things (not everything) when I see you. Remember that you recently took that trip over the summer, maybe that bad flu illness that dad had last winter, maybe that your sister just got accepted to college.
Plenty of medical studies have proven that health is better if you have a lasting relationship with your doctor. It is hard to quantify, but there is truth in that. I know I am happy largely because I have many good relationships with my many great patients. I’d like to think that I will live happier and longer because of the relationships I have with you. And so will you. So …. make that check-up appointment this summer. You deserve more than a minute at a clinic. See you soon.
For more information and to schedule your child’s check-up, visit www.ppvkids.com to find the PPV location closest to you.
–Dr. Phil Dawson
Pediatric Partners of Virginia, West End Pediatrics Division
For locations, doctors and specialties, see the link with all info.