The doctors here.

This week I’ve chosen to tackle all of our doctors and dentists appointments. With three kids, plus myself to worry about, the number of appointments we accumulate really adds up. Summertime is the easiest time to take care of it all since I don’t have school or sports schedules to work around but lugging a 7, 5 and 1 year old around to each other’s appointments is a real pain in the ass. Yesterday was the dentist for both of the boys and today was Ruby’s well visit. IMG_5398

I’ve noticed a few things that I find unusual about the doctors here on Staten Island. I have a lot to compare it to since we’ve also seen dentists and pediatricians in Ohio, Long Island, California, New Jersey, and Texas. Of course, every office has been different but the ones here stick out more than any other. 

The first thing I’ve noticed, something that I actually find funny, is that neither my doctor’s office nor the kids’ have switched over to electronic files. I think this is so strange because we live in one of the biggest cities in the world. You would think they’d be advanced in technology but instead there are hundreds of color coded files stored directly behind the receptionist. Also different from all of the other offices we’ve visited is the absolute lack of available parking. I know this is a city problem but ugh, it’s awful. You have to take into account the additional time you’ll need to find parking every time you go to an appointment. And you have to PAY for parking at our hospital. Josh had to go last week (nothing major) and found that you need four bucks just to be able to park in the ER lot. 

The thing that strikes me the most here is that I don’t feel the kids’ doctor or dentist has been very thorough. We’re very lucky to have three completely healthy kids but I still find it strange that our appointments last two minutes. For instance, at every other dentist’s office we’ve visited, the boys will first be seen by an assistant who cleans their teeth. Then the dentist comes in, counts and checks their teeth and answers any concerns I may have. But yesterday, when Theo was called back (Parker goes in by himself now so I can’t say how things went with him) the dentist was already in the room and did a very quick cleaning and checkup alongside the assistant. We were in the room for about five minutes total. As we left the office, Parker even remarked on how his teeth didn’t hurt the way they usually do after a dental cleaning. But neither boy has any issues so I’m not extremely concerned – I just found it strange. 

Every experience we’ve had with our pediatrician since moving here has been similar. When Theo went in to be seen about his sleeping and bedwetting troubles, I ran to the grocery store across the street while Josh took him in to see the doctor. I had dropped them off and went directly across the street to get three things and while I was standing in the checkout line, Josh called to say they were already done. It had been 10 minutes. I expressed my concern that they couldn’t have possibly been very thorough but Josh was confident that the doctor had answered all of his questions. Just as he did when Parker had gone in for his school physical, the doctor ordered blood work to be drawn for Theo (both times I’ve declined because I can’t see why this is necessary). Today, as I said, was Ruby’s 15 month well visit (we’re a little late) and it was the same deal. We went in and were immediately accompanied by the doctor – no nurse. This is strange to me because at every other office we’ve been to, a nurse comes in first to do height and weight and go over all of the developmental stuff. Basically today, the doctor looked over Ruby’s files to see what vaccinations she needed, asked how her speech was developing, asked if I had any questions and then weighed her, measured her and gave her the shots. Of course he ended the appointment with ordering her blood work. We were in the room for 5 minutes. 

Under any other circumstances I would probably go find another doctor but our kids are healthy and we have no pressing issues that our doctors aren’t answering to. It’s just all so strange to me that our experience here can be so different from everywhere else – but then again so is the entire NYC culture. And perhaps the NYC culture is just the cause for the difference. I mean, I guess it must be difficult to see all eight million New Yorkers if the appointments weren’t five minutes long. 

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9 thoughts on “The doctors here.

  1. I just found your blog recently and love reading about your transition to NYC. My husband is active duty Navy and we PCSed last year, after spending 3 years in the Bronx. Living in NYC is like living no where else…it’s so hard in so many ways and we had no military support (I hope the coast guard has a better community presence). Doctors were the absolute worst! We couldn’t be seen by anyone that wasn’t a free clinic or really sketchy. The doctor who confirmed my pregnancy was about 80, had no nurse, his office was in his basement, and it could have been in an episode of hoarders! When I had to go to the ER for something serious I made my husband drive me to CT. The one time I went in the Bronx, it was 8 AM and my husband couldn’t even find parking at the hospital, so he couldn’t come in and I was pregnant and I couldn’t walk…no sympathy from them at all. Don’t even get me started on the hospital I delivered at! I’m so glad we got to leave so much of that behind, but there is still so much I miss. I wouldn’t trade those 3 really hard years for anything because they were also filled with some truly amazing experiences and unique opportunities. Somehow, the city gets in your blood, whether you want it to or not! Enjoy your time there and play tourtist when you can. I can’t wait to go back and visit this fall (but I’m glad I don’t ever have to live there again..haha)!

  2. I hope you do! The adjustment period is probably a little longer than a lot of places, since it is just so different. You are lucky to live in a more suburban family centered area. I’m sure that helps! Are your grocery stores decent? Ours were terrible…small and awful produce. Fairway literally saved my sanity. The one in Brooklyn is probably closest to you, which is still far for a grocery store, but if you ever find yourself over there you should check it out. Also, if you haven’t already, check out the blog Mommas Gone City. She isn’t in NY anymore, but she had 3 kiddos and some great posts about city living.

  3. Since moving here, I’ve actually only gone to two grocery stores. Trader Joe’s is where I go on a regular basis. Their prices seem to be about the same everywhere so even though the cost of living here is so outrageous, our grocery budget hasn’t changed much from Houston. The other store I went to was big, clean and pretty nice but it was so expensive. I walked to the checkout expecting to be rung up for about $25 worth of food and my total was $40! lol I haven’t heard of Mommas Gone City but I’ll check her out. I actually haven’t even thought to look for other blogs on the subject but that’s a great idea! Thanks so much! Just out of curiosity, before moving to NY where were you from?

    • So lucky! I would have given my pinky toe for a Trader Joe’s close to us! We had some tiny grocery stores and a CVS. That was it. And people legitimately shopped for groceries at the CVS. Crazy expensive and no healthy or organic options at all. But there were at least 8 different pizza places, delis, and Chinese restaurants on every block, and they all delivered, so who needed a grocery store. haha.

      My dad was Navy, but retired when I was still young, so I spent most my childhood in Georgia. My husband was born and raised in GA as well. Our move there was his first time in NYC. Talk about culture shock!

      I have a private blog for family and friends to keep up with us and see pictures. Its nothing special, and probably pretty boring if you aren’t related to us, but it chronicles our time there pretty well. I’d be happy to share it with you if you want 🙂

  4. I would love that! It’s always fun to see others’ experiences. I know what you mean about delivery here. My husband and I hate to go out in the traffic so we’ve only gone out to dinner a couple of times since we moved here and instead just order in. The number of places that deliver is dangerous! ha! There’s even a pastry shop that delivers baked goods until 10pm. Don’t ask me how I know this 😉

  5. Lindsay, I love your post on the things New Yorkers say! Hysterical. Although you forgot that people in New York “wait on line”. lol Do you say that? I’ve never heard anyone say anything besides wait in line before living up here. Also, my husband wants to take our kids to the Coast Guard Academy and I noticed that you guys went. Do you think it’s something our boys would enjoy?

    • I totally forgot about that! So fun to go back and read that stuff. I miss the Bronx accent and hearing people order “mozzarel” and “prosciut”. Why don’t they just say the whole word? Haha. It’s funny because my husband pointed out the on line thing all the time….it drove him crazy! I never even noticed it and sometimes I say on line now too (mostly becaus he hates it!).

      The CGA is really cute, kind of small, but enjoyable to walk around. There are a lot of memorials and little things to see, the boats on the river were cool, and there are a lot of kind of woodsy walking areas. I’m not positive how much there is to do aside from that, but it’d be a fun place for the boys to run around and get a little history in on the side. If your boys like football, I would definitely recommend trying to go on a game day. It wasn’t crowded, parking and seating weren’t a problem, and I think tickets were cheap. Its a really small scale thing, but the cadets are all in uniform and seeing their pregame traiditon stuff was neat. I think football games make everything a little bit more fun though 🙂 Mystic is near by and it is a great place to take kids, walk around, eat, and shop. So cute! The two combined would make for a fun day for sure!

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