The Worst Thing You Could Possibly Say in Front of Your Pediatrician

The Pediatric Insider

© 2011 Roy Benaroch, MD

“Hello and welcome, everyone! Welcome to the first annual Worsties award, hosted by me, your host, Mark Winkerdale!”

<muted applause>

“Tonight we’ll reveal our top winner, the absolute Worst Thing You Could Possibly Say in Front of Your Pediatrician! But first, we have a few runners-up! And don’t bother trying to sneak out, we’ve locked all of the doors and the security guards have tasers!”


“First, in the category ‘Don’t make a liar out of me,’ we have this gem from Ms. Edith Spangler of Milwaukee, Wisconsin! Ms. Spangler, what did you say?”

A big video screen drops from the ceiling, showing a short clip of Ms. Spangler saying, “I said to the doctor, tell my boy ‘Big boys don’t pee in the bed.’”

“That’s a great one! Not only is it a lie, but it makes your son feel guilty and tells him that both his mom and doctor think he’s a great big baby! What a line!”


“Next up, from the category ‘Let’s have the doctor be the evil one,’ comes a special request from Mr. Arthur Pewtie of Omaha. Listen to what he asked the pediatrician to say to his four year old daughter!”

“You tell her, doc. Tell her Santa won’t come if she still sucks her thumb.”


“Ha ha, that’s great! That’ll teach her the true meaning of Christmas! But now, with no further ado, it’s time to present the top award, for The Worst Possible Thing to Say in Front of Your Pediatrician. This one combines cruelty with misinformation, makes the pediatrician out to be a monster, and is guaranteed to make a child even more upset and hysterical! What could possibly top this one?! Ladies and gentlemen, the winner!”

<drum roll>

“You hold still, or the doctor is going to give you a shot!”

<rim shot>


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8 Comments on “The Worst Thing You Could Possibly Say in Front of Your Pediatrician”

  1. Dr. Roy Says:

    OK, I had my fun. Now it’s your turn: how about some nominations for the worst thing a pediatrician can say in front of a parent?


  2. Holly Says:

    How about “I’m not sure how you convert 22 cal Neosure into 24 cal, but I’m sure the folks at Wal-Mart can tell you.”


  3. Dr. Roy Says:

    Holly, I hope that wasn’t me :p


  4. me Says:

    How about asking a new mom of premature twins who had to deal with the NICU, endless hours with a breastpump, lactation consultants, prescription drugs and such before finally giving up on breastfeeding: “they’re not even getting a little bit of breastmilk?”. Then, when I burst into tears, leaving the room and letting me sob in there by myself for 15 minutes. Yeah, that pediatrician pretty much sucked.


  5. Holly Says:

    LOL – wasn’t you, and Nurse Denise got to the bottom of it and saved me. Have liked her ever since. 🙂


  6. Ruth pack-adler Says:

    After twice prescribing antibiotics my 2 year old was allergic to (very prominently noted all over his chart and on the numerous phone messages left with the nurse), the pediatrician says “the pharmacist should have caught that.” luckily for my son, i caught it. Needless to say, that was our last visit with him.


  7. Lydia Says:

    I’ve got two from the same pediatrician.

    Me: I am concerned about my son, he is having problems at preschool and at home. I took him to an OT eval today and the OT says he is significantly behind. The OT says that my 3.25 year old is at a 22 months level on nearly every area she tested. The OT will be faxing her report later in the week so that my son can start OT after you sign the script.

    Dr: This boy does not have a developmental delay, he is fine. YOU need to work on your parenting skills. There is nothing wrong with your son.

    My son had significant developmental delays that require several hours or private therapy per week and at school. We have done a parent training program and have seen great results, but without therapies to work on his delays he was not going to catch up.

    Me: The ENT says that my son needs ear tubes. I need you to do his pre op physical so that my son can have his surgery.

    Dr.: The ENT is wrong. This child does not need ear tubes. This is risky surgery, don’t put your son through unnecessary surgery.

    Me: Two doctors have told me he needs ear tubes. My son has documented hearing loss due to fluid in the ears and has a huge receptive language delay. My son has also had two ear infections this fall and appears to have chronic fluid in the ears.

    Dr: Fine. I disagree.

    Me: That is fine, do the physical. Don’t worry you won’t be doing one again on my child.

    We have since moved on to a great pediatric practice that collaborates nicely with all of my son’s various specialists and treats us with respect.


  8. Tracey Says:

    After months of our daughter losing weight, way behind developmentally and never smiling I finally demanded a referral to the pediatric gastroenterologist to help my daughters acid reflux. 8 months later at her well check he asked if we were doing a Nissen Fundo to which I replied that they only do those if the child is aspirating fluid into the lungs. He then smiled and said “that’s why I leave stuff like that to the specialists”. Maybe he could have “left it to the specialist” after the first month of seeing me weekly for a kid who could vomit across the room!


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