I Write to emphasize the very great assistance, particularly the kind of assistance, that I find dedicated nurses especially trained in pediatrics and Public Health can give to pediatricians. My emphasis is not on the number of patients who can be seen but the quality of service that can be given.
For many years my academic environment and concentration on teaching and consultation protected me from the pressures present in a busy practitioner's office. During these years, I was often impressed by the great gratitude from parents of patients because, as they would say, "You have answered a lot of our questions." Often they would also say: "We like our own pediatrician very much, but his office is so crowded and he is so busy that we feel guilty in asking him all the questions we have about our children. What we really like about this visit is the way you have so generously given us of your time to answer all those questions that bother us."So, when I recently saw the new offices of a pair of pediatricians starting into practice, I was frankly upset to notice that in the many small examining rooms it was evident that chairs were kept at a minimum. Still more upsetting was the explanation that this arrangement made it easier for the physician to walk out of the room because he would be standing. Not only would there be less awkwardness in interrupting a conversation but the mothers would be less likely to sit down and ask questions if there were not enough chairs for everyone to be seated.