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Doc, Just Call in the Freaking Medicine!

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My son got hit with a bad ear infection yesterday, and was screaming in pain. But when I called the on-call pediatrician, he said "to bring him in tomorrow." Why can't the doctor just call in the freaking medicine??

doctor on the phone

Momlogic's Julie: Yesterday at little league practice, I noticed my son tugging his ear. Immediately, my stomach lurched in panic. Oh, no. Not an ear infection! He's had them since he was little ... and has experienced at least 25 in his 8 years on the planet.

I knew what would come next.

The pain. The screaming. Us going to the ER or urgent care and waiting it out to get the prescription for ear drops and Amoxicillin, with him yelling and writhing in pain the whole time.

Hoping to make this inevitable process as quick and painless as possible, we just called the on-call pediatrician to see if he would call in a prescription.

By this time, my son was SHOUTING and SCREAMING in the background.

He said "he couldn't diagnose the ear infection" without seeing him, and we could "bring him in tomorrow."

I could understand this if he hadn't had OVER TWENTY EAR INFECTIONS in the past. But there was no doubt this was an ear infection! And there was no way it could wait until tomorrow.

So we sped over to urgent care and the pharmacy, with my son shouting and screaming the entire time. I have never seen him in that much pain in my life.

We could have spared him all this anguish if the doctor would have just called in a prescription (not to mention saving the $30 co-pay).

Does your pediatrician call in prescriptions?

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18 comments so far | Post a comment now
Nancy February 16, 2009, 2:02 PM

The doctor always wants to see my son in his office and will not call in a prescription—it’s all about them getting their co-pay while you and your child suffers thru the night.

Jenna February 16, 2009, 2:02 PM

It is incredibly irresponsible for a pediatrician to just call in prescriptions. What may seem like an ear infection to you could be something else the doctor would see. Yes, you are often right but you are NOT a doctor. And handing out antibiotics all the time is not a practice doctors should pick up. I have a 14 year old daughter in a wheelchair and a 6 month old daughter. Trust me, getting out is sometimes a pain but I would much rather drag my tired butt to the pediatrician than make guesses about my childs health - even when the problem appears to be a no brainer. On the other side of that though is the fact that your pediatrician should have worked your son in immediately because he was in pain and that really does trump a cold or someone getting shots. I hope your son is feeling better, ear infections are awful!

Spookygirl February 16, 2009, 2:45 PM

I totally agree with Jenna, it is irresponsible to call in a prescription with out seeing the child. Just because there have been 20 inner ear infections, doesn’t mean this is number 21.

Plus with the overuse of antibiotics, I respect that my Dr. and I make decisions together as to the need for them, I don’t go in demanding them. In fact, my children have each had one ear infection, and neither received antibiotics, they were unnecessary, as they often are in situations where parents are demanding them.

Amy Holding February 16, 2009, 2:49 PM

The only time my daughter’s doctor ever called in a prescription was for pink eye. Ear infections, colds and whatever else has always resulted in an office visit. I have to say that I am glad for that policy though, bc now 4 years later, my oldest has rarely been on antibiotics. Waiting the xtra day/night (in my case anyway) has usually shown just to be a virus.

Trina February 16, 2009, 3:16 PM

sorry, i agree with nancy. i live 40 minutes from the doctor. and to drive 40 minutes because what the doctor and i both know is an ear infection, (especially when my child has had so many), is kinda irritating, but he wants to triple check. and when i get there, i hear the same thing…”yep, its an ear infection!”

Anonymous February 16, 2009, 3:54 PM

Yeah, I wish they called it in but they usually don’t. However to the poster named Amy: be cautious with the pink eye. I used to think my son would get pink eye a lot and I even brought him to the pediatrician and it was diagnosed as pink eye. But when I started going to an eye doctor for my son’s so called chronic pink eye he told me that he has seen more cases of pediatricians classifying every red slightly puss filled eye as pink eye and giving antibiotics while most eye infections are viral (like a cold) and just need a few days to heal with maybe some lubricating drops, not antibiotics. He said most pediatricians are not trained to diagnose eye problems and they just call everything pink eye and give antibiotics. Hope this helps.

Mom February 16, 2009, 6:15 PM

My sister in law is a doctor and even SHE won’t just call in a script for us when we’ve called her late at night for help. Lots of us are used to the good old days and remember how easy it was to get your doc to phone it in. But doctors don’t take those chances anymore. At least we now have urgent care clinics. Before those came along the only option for after hours help was the ER.

mom of almost 3 February 16, 2009, 8:46 PM

try the Hyland’s Earache tablets. They REALLY work! Neither of my kids will take medicine easily, they never have, but they readily take homeopathic tablets with no problem and I’ve found that most of them really work. You might have to redose faster than with traditional meds, but they really do work. Arnica is another one that’s practically a miracle, I even use it for my dog! It kills pain from bumps & bruises, falls, scraped knees, you name it AND it makes the bruise go away FAST or keeps it from coming out at all.

K&C's mom February 17, 2009, 12:31 AM

Another thing to try is garlic oil, you can only find it in a health food store. You put it in the ear. 4 or 5 doses on my kids and it usually is gone.

anon February 17, 2009, 2:26 AM

Consider yourself lucky that your copay is only $30. It’s January so I get to start all over with paying that costly deductible of………… drumroll please…………….$1500.00 per family member…. only to 3 family members but still that $4500 buck before our insurance kicks in! Oh Joy!!!!! Today I had to take my kids in for a sinus infection (which he gets about 5 times a year and always needs antibiotics for) The doc wouldn’t call in the meds and it cost $160 for a 5 minute appointment!!! No strep test, no flu test, in fact we spent more time with the nurse than the doctor…

Colorado Mom February 17, 2009, 4:10 AM

I know what you mean about those deductibles- they’re killer. In fact, I had to turn down physical therapy for my back because I need to save what’s left in the spending account in case my son gets sick. I miss good old days of a co-pay. I’ll take a $30 co-pay anyday of the week.

ame i. February 17, 2009, 10:51 AM

Our regular ped has called in a small bottle of cough syrup and couple of times but had rather check on the child(ren) just in case. I’m willing to sit “on call” for hours to see her instead of seeing a couple of the other peds in her group.
One refused to give us an rx for cough syrup, stating that she didn’t (actually she said “we”, which was odd considering our regular ped obviously doesn’t share her opionion) believe in giving children cough syrup. I asked what she gave her own children. Surprise, she doesn’t have children. She suggested Delsym (sp?) or another otc. That gave me pause, because I had recently read an article quoting dozens of docs who said otc cough meds don’t work because their isn’t enough of the active ingredientsin them. One would have to waaay exceed the recommended dosage for them to be effective.

Heather February 17, 2009, 12:48 PM

Motrin and Tylenol will help with the pain until he can see a doctor. You can combine them in such circumstances. There is no reason your child has to suffer. I know this, my five year old is in the same boat. After taking both, staggered, she hasn’t had ear pain and we were able to wait until the morning to get to the doctor.

jh February 17, 2009, 5:45 PM

All i know is that a mother with any experience can tell when her kid has an ear infection, and doesn’t need a doctor to confirm. What are they gonna start selling the ear medicine? crazy doc.

Kristen February 21, 2009, 11:30 AM

This mom needs to remember that in some states it’s illegal to call in a prescription for antibiotics, the doctor or nurse practioner has to actually see a child before writing the prescription. Another thing, if something were to go wrong or it wasn’t an ear infection than that doctor is liable and could be sued and well if I had spent 140,000 on medical school I would rather be cautious than ruin my life.

Bbrzdmzj June 27, 2009, 5:44 AM

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