Today I interviewed a family doctor from Family Health Group, the Dr. Saritha Voncha. I actually thought her last name was something else, but maybe she got married or changed her name since I looked her up, because that's what it is on the website. Here's my experience.
Apparently people don't call to ask about meeting the doctor before choosing her, because everyone I talked to on the phone seemed super confused about setting up an appointment for me to come meet her. They said that I would have to pay for the appointment. I was kind of bummed, since I didn't have to pay to meet the other doctor, but I wanted to give this doctor a chance.
Even when I got to the office, the nurse was about to weigh me, and I explained to her that the appointment wasn't for me, it was an interview to try to find a doctor for my daughter. I said that they put the appointment under my name since my daughter hasn't been born yet. The nurse got a confused look on her face and asked me to wait while she found out what to do. She came back and brought me to a room to wait.
The doctor came in and was very nice. However, she was interrupted by a nurse and left the room to talk to another doctor over the phone. She apologized when she got back, and was only gone for a few minutes, but I was still a little annoyed. We discussed some of my family health history, and gestational diabetes briefly. I asked if she does OB/GYN care, and she does not. I asked just in case I decided to switch after this birth to another doctor, and then Adara and I could go to the same one. She also does outpatient work only, and works with the hospitalists-they are part of the same group, and have access to my medical records as needed. I do like that she is already familiar with the hospital and the process there.
Access during and outside office hours: They have 24/7 on-call. They are a part of 6 family medical physicians, and there is always someone on call after hours. During hours they answer by priority, and call back non-urgent calls during the afternoon/evening hours.
I asked her perspective on vaccines. I need to work on not being defensive with this issue, especially when I'm the one bringing it up. She highly recommends them, says she knows there are some concerns with autism, but emphasized that there are no conclusive studies. I fudged and said that we wanted to wait until our girl was at least two years old before considering shots, which is only sort of true. As of right now, we're not planning to give her any at any time, but I do know that the risks decrease with some vaccines as the child gets older. Plus, if she goes out of the country (like for a missions trip), she will likely get some vaccines. The doctor said that some vaccines need to be started early, and I said it's fine if she doesn't end up getting them. The doctor was okay with this, but emphasized limited exposure when the baby is first born, and the fact that she may be exposed to all kinds of worldwide dangers since we live in a global society.
The appointments would be one week, one month if there are concerns, and then 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, etc. She said at two months is normally when they start vaccines, but the appointments for us would be a physical and checking for growth, since our girl won't be getting vaccines. The doctor said that the appointments follow the vaccine schedule, but she recommends following the schedule even if our daughter isn't getting shots, to document growth and other progress.
She did say that breastfeeding is important, especially since our daughter won't be getting vaccines. She said to keep trying even if it is tough, because it is very helpful. She said she did with her three kids, even working full time, and she can count on her hand the number of times her kids have had to have antibiotics. This impressed me, because some doctors don't seem to have a problem with antibiotics, and this doctor seemed so proud that her kids hadn't needed them.
The doctor said that she didn't know how to chart/document the appointment, and the people she needed to ask weren't in the building. I left not having to pay anything at the time.
I'm not sold yet on either place. This office was so close, and the doctor was friendly and easy to talk to. She introduced me to her nurse practitioner, who has a one year old daughter with the middle name Grace. I like that this doctor has kids. The office building is undergoing some kind of renovation so it's messy, but that isn't the doctor's fault.
--------change to next appointment---------
I also went to another OB appointment today. Baby's heart beat 143, and I'm measuring 32 and 1/2 weeks. Blood sugar is good as long as I eat right, so that's the plan for now. I saw the doctor for maybe two minutes today. She came in, said everything looks good, explained that they will continue to regulate only with diet for now, but will also monitor my pregnancy a little more closely. She said that since my fasting levels were good, that indicates that the gestational diabetes is diet-related, so it can be diet regulated. She mentioned another ultrasound, which would be no disappointment to me. She also said that after week 36 they'll start checking something twice a week, but I don't remember what she said. I'm to continue checking my blood sugar levels and bring them in again in two weeks to my next appointment. She was in and out super fast. Good thing I didn't have any questions this time.