If I had the graphics ability, I'd make the header for this entry one of those circular signs with the word "pediatrician" and a slash across it. Read this story if you have minor children. Read it all the way through. And then if you'll take my advice, don't, repeat, don't, send your child to a pediatrician. (Technical note: There's something strange about the way the first page of this Boston Herald article comes up when you click on the link. The first time it comes up page 1 is very short, and you miss some of the information to which I refer in what follows. If you click the number 2 to go to page 2, then go back to page 1 by clicking on the number 1, you should get the complete page 1 with the story about the author's thirteen-year-old daughter and her recent pediatrician visit.)
Here's the deal: The American Academy of Pediatricians has become a wacko advocacy group and has issued "guidelines" to its doctors suggesting that they ask scary-crazy questions of children during routine checkups. And in the case of teenagers, these questions are to be asked if possible without parents present. The questions include how much the parents drink, whether they have a gun in the house, and (this is the worst of all) whether teenage girls' fathers "make them feel uncomfortable." Let me emphasize: These are not cases where there is probable cause of abuse. The doctor is supposed to ask these questions routinely of girls who come to him for, say, a sports checkup for school.
Think of it: You have a beautiful daughter or daughters, a wonderful family, a loving relationship with them. And some doctor gets her alone in a room and insinuates to her without the slightest reason to do so that you are a sex pervert. He believes that it is "standard of care" for him to insinuate this, because the question, "Does your dad make you feel uncomfortable?" is in a list contained in a set of guidelines he's received from his professional organization.
Such behavior ought to be litigable in itself, at a minimum. (Proto-anarchist that I am, I would have some sympathy for a father who punched the pediatrician in the nose.) But it isn't even litigable. Instead, the doctor is probably worried about somehow, somewhere, in some indirect way, being subject to litigation if he doesn't go on such a perverse fishing expedition.
I recommend family practices. Big ones may be the best, because they are usually fairly busy. They are therefore less likely to push pointless yearly checkups just for the sake of having yearly checkups. You take your child to the doctor when your child is sick. Doctors and physicians' assistants in family practices are less likely (especially if you are taking your child in for some specific ailment) to go down a list of intrusive and sicko questions. After all, they aren't directly paying dues to the AAP and receiving crazy question lists from them. And have your wife go into the appointments with your daughters, all the way into their teen years. Insist on it. Get a new doctor if the doctor objects. It's just one way to make sure that what's wrong wiht the world doesn't come straight into the heart of your family.