I started seeing Dr. Looove in 2005. I’d just moved back to California and needed to see a doctor before I could get a prescription renewed. I picked her office because it was the closest to our condo, and I picked her because she was the only doctor free on the only morning I could miss work. At our first meeting she was calm, confident, and smart. She was only a few years older than me, and I found that appealing. Plus, she was just so nice. I loooved her right away (hence the nickname).
I have put Dr. Looove through her paces. She was the first doctor to confirm my pregnancy with Madeline. I called her sobbing when I was told I was going to miscarry Madeline’s pregnancy. When I was hospitalized at a facility Dr. Looove didn’t have privileges at, she called my room to check on me directly. She didn’t shy away from treating a preemie and was an incredible advocate for Maddie. After Maddie died, Dr. Looove went above and beyond to care for Mike and me. She diagnosed my clotting disorder, helped me find my therapist, and has cared for my other two babies as lovingly as she did Madeline.
I feel safe with her and trust her completely. I can call her with questions, email her in the middle of the night, send her pictures of weird rashes, and she takes it all in stride. I can’t imagine another doctor caring for our family. But unfortunately, the time has come for us to find another doctor.
When we bought our house, we moved forty-five minutes away from Dr. Looove’s office – before traffic. Still, for the last three years (except for the dark time) we’ve made the trek to see Dr. Looove. I always had an excuse to keep seeing her. The one I said most often was that we needed an affiliated pediatrician at Dr. Risky’s hospital, but the real reason is because the idea of taking my kids (and myself) to see another doctor immediately brings tears to my eyes.
The rational part of me completely gets it. I know a lot of people have to drive 60-90 minutes to see their doctors, but we absolutely don’t have to. The medical group Dr. Looove (and all of my specialists) is affiliated with recently opened branches in our town, less than two miles from our house. That solves the medical records transfer problem, one I know all too well. If the kids were sick, we’d only have to spend a few minutes in the car instead of a few hours. If either kid ends up in the emergency room by our house, they’d have a doctor who could round on them. It makes total sense. I’ve even heard great things about the family doctors out here. And yet…
I told myself that, after several delays, James’ one-year well-baby visit would be it. She’d have seen Annie through four-and-a-half years, and James through one. It was a natural place to end the relationship. And it obviously wasn’t personal – Dr. Looove would completely understand.
At the end of James’ one-year well-baby visit, Dr. Looove said, “I’ll see you in three months for James’ 15-month checkup.”
And I said, “…okay.” Because I just can’t do it yet. Maybe after the next appointment.
I understand why you would want to move to a Doctor closer to home, but a doctor who will fight for your family and be there when you need them is extremely hard to find. My family doctor is great but when my daughter was in the hospital for dehydration he didn’t call or stop by even though it was at the hospital he is affiliated with. I would love a doctor like Dr. Risky. There are a lot if good doctors but to find one as caring and supportive as Dr. Risky is very rare. She knows what you and your family gave been through and that is worth a lot as she will understand that you will need prompt and compassionate care. This is coming from someone who spends 3 hours in car commuting each day so completely get why you would want to be close to home. As the kids get through first few years in school, doctors visits will likely decrease. My girls are 13 and 16 now and I can’t remember the last time we needed to see the doctor with an urgent issue so a planned trip to visit wouldn’t be too hard. I am sure you will make the perfect decision for your family whether moving closer to home or staying with Dr. Risky.
Oops Dr. Loove, not Dr. Risky. Same thoughts, but wrong name
ugh, this is so tough. A good Dr. is hard to find. I get it, I hate being in that car, I drive over an hour to my doc (i have strange issues that would take days of catching someone up on, so I get that records/story transfer part too) but I’d love to find someone closer to home. I also email and call my doc at all hours and she answers and (seems to) actually care, and I know not many drs do that these days. Best of luck to you in your dr endeavors. As always, take care and God bless!
A good doctor is tough to find. If your set on getting a doctor closer to you, then maybe you should discuss it with Dr. Looove and see if she can give you a referral to a colleague that is closer. That way you would feel more confident in this person. Even saying that, I would find it hard to switch from my doctor despite the drive. Mine is 30 minutes away but I can’t imagine leaving her.
She said the group Dr. Looove is affiliated with just opened a branch close to her house. =)
Yes, but even getting a reference if not a referral to someone that Dr Loove knows about personally is still more comforting than being placed with or picking randomly someone new at the closer branch.
My son was a preemie as well and I loved his doctor. Three years ago when he was three, his doctor moved to a clinic five minutes from where I work and 40 minutes from home. I was very torn but if I need to take him to the doctor I would be looking at an hour plus trip, especially if I was at work. I ended up staying at his location (clinic with multiple peds docs) and I may even love his new doctor more. Good luck.
I totally agree with Nancy. Coming from Canada, we can’t just switch doctors and in alot of cases, people do not even have doctors as alot of them have moved to the states and do not bring anyone in to replace them. With the age of your doctor and the way you feel about her, I would continue with the drive as she will probably be around for a long time. Look at it as going to visit an old friend.
I saw the cutie on the Honest diaper box in Target in Rochester, NY
Can’t you keep Dr. Loove as your Primary Care Provider and then see other doctors closer to you (in the same practice) for sick visits.
Amy B. says:
That’s what I was going to suggest too!
I was just going to say the same thing. Sounds like the best of both worlds.
Exactly! So often my kids are in Urgent Care for sick visits anyway, so they don’t see their regular pediatrician even though it’s at the same clinic.
I know how hard it is to find a good doctor. Most are smart but do not TRULY care and will not go out of their way at all. I live in queens but drive to manhattan, an hour 20 minutes away. I even go an hour and a half to a fancy vet specialists hospital (looks like a person’s hospital) on Long Island for my dog’s health problems (scarred lungs, bad leg). I only go local for vaccines for her once a year. If you have an emergency, I would go closer to an associate but otherwise, keep going to her.
I would keep seeing her for the routine visits and have a back up doctor for the sick calls! If they are in the same practice there shouldn’t be a problem with that at all. We HAVE to drive 30+ miles to get to the doctor, or 60 miles for the pediatrician and I hear you, going that far with a pukey child is NOT something I would want to do, especially in traffic! Yikes!
We had a wonderful pediatrician in one state and if I could travel the 4 hours to see her, I totally would. Medicine is in such a horrible state right now. I have yet to find a pediatrician I can stand and they could care less about my kids. I could not even get our pediatrician to call me about my son’s new autism diagnosis. I left him about 20 voice messages. We see him on Friday…I am going to rip him a new one.
I feel your pain. Several years ago my beloved doctor’s office changed over to some kind of managed care facility (I think that is the right term). You had to pay an upfront fee of a few thousand dollars to have access to the doctors and all of the “routine” procedures and tests they would provide during the year. It was very difficult, but the money was ridiculous, so we were forced to change to a new primary/family doctor. Needless to say, after about two years their practice found out that most people in our area were not willing to fork over that kind of money and went back to the “old” way of business. Too late for us, as we were moving soon, and too bad to have lost such a wonderful doctor. We do still travel back to our old home grounds (2 1/2 hours away) every six months to see my son’s Pediatric Neuro Ophthalmologist. She is simply amazing, loves him dearly, and always spends tons of time with him. We make a fun day of it and visit old sites and eat at our favorite places.
Can Dr. Loove recommend a doctor who is like her? I have used that strategy and identified exactly what I was looking for. Just like friends have friends who are like them it may be that the doctor knows a particular doctor that is very much like her.
I forgot to add that I then interview each recommended doctor.
I get it. Not on the same level, but I cried BIG, UGLY tears in front of the staff when I had to break up with our old doctor. I wrote her a thank you note (it didn’t feel adequate) and explained that it wasn’t by my choice (our insurance changed). VERY fortunately, we ended up with another fantastic doctor, and I will surely cry BIG, UGLY tears if/when we ever have to break up with her.
I say if you can swing it, stick with her for regular checkups and make your local clinic the go-to for sick visits and emergency medicine.
I love in Southern Cali and totally understand the traffic issue. When our pediatrician moved from an office I hated (too crowded, too hectic and the other doctors were ones I didn’t care for) to one 30 miles south, well we moved with him. I totally trust him and for me it is worth the drive. Not to mention this new office is so much better. Staff is nicer and the atmosphere is much more relaxed. I have also known him personally for over 20 years (which is why I trust him so much). It is hard to find doctors that take their time with you and form that relationship so I totally understand why you want to stay with her.
I agree with the above. Trust your gut. I have driven right past places to get to others with better services. I do agree, though, that she might be able to recommend someone. When I have moved to a new area, I have benefited greatly from referrals from people I trust.
I so get it, but you never know the doctors at the new facility might be just as great. Why don’t you go over there and just check it out. You might be pleasantly surprised. I live in Culver City and work in Santa Monica, I know our traffic is terrible. I moved to a doctor across the street from my office just so I wouldn’t have to “travel”!!!!!!
What if you kept going to Dr. Looove for well-child check ups (for your peace of mind, and to keep her in the loop of how amazing your kiddos are doing), but bring her to the closer location for sick visits. And if either child is REALLY sick, since it’s the same medical group, perhaps she can still consult with the other Dr. to be kept in the loop on their illnesses too?
Just a thought, as having a Dr that you trust is really important to me (and you, obviously).
I’d suggest “dating around” for a while before you really “break it off” with Dr. Loooove. Honestly, she sounds like a really rare find, and it might take you a while to find someone to fill her shoes. Get someone that you feel comfortable seeing when you need someone 15 minutes away, and keep making the drive when you feel you need someone you can really trust. We all deserve doctors we love as much as you love Looooove. Keep looking till you find that again, nearby!
Well, since I travel 1000 miles, out of state twice a year to see my beloved doctor, even that in Southern Cal traffic doesn’t sound too bad to me. I’d stick with the doctor I love. Since we moved I’ve tried a number of new doctors and NOT been happy. Of course I realize my medical file is 6 inches thick, but still….
It is SO FREAKING HARD to leave a doctor you love (or loooove!) My doctor has been my doctor since I was 12 (I’m now 31). She used to work 5 minutes from my house and now works 30-45 minutes away at a different practice. Many times I’ve thought of switching to someone closer. A few weeks ago I found out I was pregnant. I went to another doctor last week (I beloved doctor was on vacation) after having a few issues and THAT doctor told me that there is no way this is a viable pregnancy and I hopefully would miscarry naturally. I spent a week crying and watching movie after movie. My doctor came back on Monday and I called her immediately. I told her what had happened and she said that she doesn’t think I’m going to miscarry. Although things look off, they are headed in a positive direction and all we can do right now is wait and hope for the best. I decided I am never going to switch doctors… no matter how far away I live. A comforting and caring doctor outweighs any amount of drive I have to make.
We recently moved also and I still bring my 3 kids to the doctor more than an hour away (also in Southern CA traffic). If they get sick, we go to the affiliated urgent care closer to home (has happened once). I think it’s reasonable to drive a couple hours for doctor appointments once every 3 months (less frequently for older kids). You know as well as anyone that good doctors are hard to find.
I cried when my primary care doctor moved several states away. (For a split second I decided to move there too.) She was the only doctor I’ve ever felt was really there for me and with whom I’ve felt comfortable talking about anything, even though I only went to her for two years. I stayed in the practice but haven’t found anyone else there I really connect with. All this to say: I get it! Your relationship with your doctor is so important. I like the advice several others have given, staying with Dr. Looove for well visits or when you really want her advice and going to the nearby branch of the same practice for simple sick visits. If you do decide it’s necessary to leave Dr. Looove for the closer location, definitely ask her for advice about which doctor near you will be best for you. Good luck!
I go to a dentist on the other side of our city when I could go to someone closer, because he’s awesome and always takes great care of our family. My teeth are terrible, and he doesn’t talk down to me or act like I’m an inconvenience when tears roll down my face from shots and stuff. And he gives me a discount for making bows for his baby girl. I think it’s really important to trust your doctor and I’d stay with the doctor I love.
I would stay with Dr. Looove! You clearly adore her and are broken up by the idea of leaving, and that seems worth the drive. (My family drove 45 minutes to my pediatrician growing up … worth it for a doctor we trusted so much.)
Honestly, as someone that has been through many doctors thanks to moving/insurance, I’d say this: if you’ve found a doctor that works well with you, loves you, and will fight for you– STICK WITH THEM.
Seriously, a good doctor that you LOVE is worth more than gold.
I found my favorite doctor while I was in high school. She genuinely loved me and my mom and genuinely cared about us, even beyond medical stuff. When my Mom’s insurance went crap, she wouldn’t let my mom pay for doctors visits, she refused to take her money because she knew how tight money was. She was a saving grace multiple times. We had to drive 40 minutes to get to her as well, and she was worth it, even when I left for school I’d rather drive to see her in my hometown. Sadly, at the beginning of May she was offered a professor/teaching job at Vanderbilt (a dream job for her), and she took it quite quickly. I am devastated. I haven’t even fathomed finding a new one yet, because it’s just so hard.
My point being– if you’ve found the “right” doctor (like Dr. Loooove), I don’t think you need to find another one. You’ve built up such a relationship with this one, it’d be hard to replicate that with someone new. Good doctors that give you tender-hearted care and dedication like Dr. Looove are hard to find nowadays; while emergency/urgent care close by might be necessary, driving to Dr. Looove for less urgent things seems far worth it.
I decided to stay with my family doctor even though he is a 45 minutes drive away. Once i moved away for university i considered leaving and finding a new one. But no one knows me better, has better knowledge of his field (in my opinion) or takes me and my worries more seriously.
The thought of not going there anymore was too hard, so after a while i just decided to stay. That was 8 years ago. i have never regreted it.
Split the difference: Dr Looooove for regular checkups, and the nearby clinic for emergency type stuff.
Then again, I say this because while I like my daughter’s pediatrician, we really wanted one of her colleagues as our daughter PCP, but she was not taking new patients at the time my daughter was born, so… we do cheat sometimes and ask if she (aka as Top Ten pediatrician) can see us when our pediatrician is booked. Shhh….
Oh, I get that. It’s wonderful when you finally find the right doctor who makes you feel like you’re his/her only patient and sincerely cares about you.