A Tuesday afternoon at Peachtree Park Pediatrics…
Dr. Kuo: “Hi guys! What’s going on?”
Mother: “Well, this Sunday we went to a walk in clinic because Mary had a fever in the morning. They did a strep test on her and it was negative. They started her on this antibiotic and she’s still having fever. I’m not sure it’s the right antibiotic. Can you also check to make sure this dose is right?”
Dr. Kuo: “Why is she on an antibiotic? And did you call them back with your questions?”
Mother: “They said she has pharyngitis and because she was having high fever they said she should be on an antibiotic just in case. When I called them with my questions they told me I needed to follow up with you, not them.”
Dr. Kuo makes angry face emoji…
It often feels that children become sick or injured at the most inconvenient of times, and it is tempting to “run her over to the walk in clinic” because it’s open and nearby. However, the best place for your child’s care is at her pediatric medical home. Pediatricians, unlike nurse practitioners, ER physicians, adult physicians, or family practitioners, have extensive training and certification in the diagnosis and treatment of children from birth to young adulthood. A pediatric medical home provides continuity of care, and we can also involve other pediatric specialists if necessary for your child’s care.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the physicians of Peachtree Park Pediatrics recommend that parents first call the office before seeking care at a walk in clinic, retail-based clinic, or telehealth service. Together we can determine whether care can continue at home, and if not, when and which health care setting is most appropriate for the given symptoms. If urgent services are indicated Peachtree Park Pediatrics recommends the urgent care centers of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (https://www.choa.org/medical-services/urgent-care) or the after-hours pediatric office Kids Time Pediatrics (https://kidstimepeds.com).
For more information on this topic see AAP’s “Urgent Care: Is It Worth the No Wait?”