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Alison Beaver: Pay Office Visit Just to Meet Doctor for First Time?

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I am wondering if this has happened to anyone else with your insurance company/doctor office, and if you even DO this in the first place!

In my search for a new pediatrician for my son (we just moved across-the-country a few months ago), I wanted to meet with his potential pediatrician first, before committing to him/her.

First of all...one place I went to (a large "regional clinic") treated me like I had two heads for just wanting to "meet" with the doc...and said there was no way to put this in their online system/calendar without generating an "office visit". We ended up having to pay our somewhat hefty co-pay for the 10 minute office visit, JUST to meet the guy and see if we like him (and how he is with our son). We DID NOT LIKE HIM AT ALL, besides the fact that this regional clinic is behind the times.

The second place we went to was night-and-day from the first. The doctor WELCOMED the chance to meet us and our son before any appointments and procedures and check-ups. He smiled at our son, gave him a compliment, seemed competent to us...we're not picky (!)...and we LOVED him. We even received a follow-up letter from him/his office saying it was nice to meet us and thanks for the opportunity to provide our son with their care. Wow! It was also a 10 minute meeting, and we weren't charged or treated like we were "those" over-protective parents.

Have you had either experience? I'd love to hear, because I thought this was usuual, and you never know what is "the norm" until you hear from others!

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