with you...every step of the way


Do you have separate waiting rooms for sick and well patients?

Sort of.  Studies do not support separating patients – a well child may be brewing a virus and doesn’t know they’re contagious, and kids who are sick may not be contagious.  That said, we provide separate areas of each waiting room so that kids who obviously don’t feel well are encouraged to stay away from the toys and other, healthier children.  This is marked with a “Sick Waiting” sign.  Toys are only provided in the “Well Child” sections.  We block schedules so that well children and sick children mix less.  Additionally we recommend the following common sense tips to reduce the risk of spreading infections:

  • We provide hand sanitizer and antiseptic wipes for toys/surfaces. Please feel free to use them liberally.
  • Encourage your children to wash their hands in the sink when you arrive in the exam room and again before you leave.
  • Bring your own toys and books, especially for younger children who are likely to put everything in the mouth. Discourage mouthing toys and books that live here.
  • If your child has a possibly contagious rash, please let us know when you call and we will have you come through the back door so that they do not spread it while waiting.

If my child needs to be hospitalized, who will be their doctor?

Virtually all children in the city of Austin are hospitalized at Dell Children’s Hospital where they can be cared for by Pediatric hospitalists who are specially qualified for the sickest children. We have a great working relationship with the hospitalist staff, and they do a good job keeping us updated. If your child is hospitalized, however, and if you’re not sure we are aware, please let us know so we can help you deal with this tough time and make sure we arrange follow up care promptly.

Children who are sick enough for emergency care but not sick enough to stay in the hospital may be more appropriate to be seen at Seton Southwest Hospital (near us) or other facilities. If you are not sure, please let us know and we would be happy to help you figure it out. We welcome your call after hours if you think your child needs emergency care. Newborns and children under 1-2 years of age will almost always be best served at Dell Children’s Hospital.

Will my doctor call in antibiotics for my child?

Generally, no, for a variety of good reasons. Exceptions are certainly made in when warranted, but we try to reserve antibiotics for a confirmed need. We all share concerns about antibiotic resistance and want to do our part to make your child, and society in general, less prone to resistant infections down the road. Most respiratory illnesses and many ear infections are treated supportively and without antibiotics. We work together to make the best decision for your child at the time, taking into consideration their family and personal history, other risk factors and intangibles like a trip to Disney World.

What are Your Views on Breastfeeding?

We think breastfeeding is fabulous and recommended it highly. We encourage you to breastfeed as long as you want – preferably at least 6-12 months. We know that the benefits of breastfeeding are many, including increased resistance to infections, less constipation, reduced risk for allergic diseases as well as a little bump in their IQ. We support breastfeeding moms by developing real-world solutions to problems with jaundice, latch issues, excess weight loss. We encourage you to take a breastfeeding class before your baby is born. If you’re having trouble, we’ll help work through issues with you. Often a Lactation Consultant can be a great member of our team as well and we’ll help you connect with one as needed.

We know that breastfeeding is not for everybody and we respect your choice. Plenty of parents can’t breastfeed for medical reasons and luckily we have pretty good options for infant nutrition. Your baby can thrive in your love whether you feed them with breast milk or infant formula.

What are Your Views on Vaccinations?

Vaccines are extremely safe.  They are a good idea.  We now know that the increased incidence of autism is not because of vaccines.  Babies never receive vaccines with preservatives (none, no mercury, no nada).  A fully immunized toddler has a better shot at staying healthy, and is less likely to spread diseases to vulnerable people.  However, we also know that vaccines have many strikes against them, including:

  • They hurt
  • Parents dread them and seeing their children uncomfortable
  • Rare side-effects are possible
  • A lot of bad information on the internet is scary
  • Pharmaceutical companies are hard to trust
  • Autism is scary despite our best information that vaccines don’t cause it

After agonizing and emotional discussions, Southwest Pediatrics has unanimously agreed that our physicians will no longer accept patients who do not vaccinate their children as of April 1st, 2015.  Existing families will be expected to begin a catch-up schedule promptly, or seek a new medical home for their children.  

Some important details:

  • Alternate Schedules (slow, partial) are not appropriate.  We believe the schedule as published by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control annually is the most appropriate schedule for our patients.
  • To remain patients at Southwest Pediatrics, children who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must begin their catch-up program promptly with a goal to be caught up within 1 year.  We will certainly respect reasonable efforts to be moving in that direction.
  • All AAP/CDC recommended vaccines will be required with the exception of those typically NOT required by public school, currently including HPV, Rotavirus and seasonal Influenza.  These exceptions should not be construed as our lack of support for them; we believe they are safe, effective and important.

We recognize that this may be significant change for some of you.  For many of you, it is a welcome change that makes you feel more confident that your children are safer around other children in our practice.   It’s also worth noting that we still very much welcome your questions and concerns about vaccines.  We would be genuinely heartbroken for patients to leave our practice over this change in policy, but we respect your right to make choices for your children.   Because this represents a change in policy, no fees will be imposed for records transfer.  Please believe us that we made this decision after agonizing thought and weeks of debate.

Will I See MY Doctor With Every Visit?

All well child exams are made with your primary pediatrician, as well as for all follow-up visits, behavioral/ADHD visits.  We also will schedule every possible sick visit with your primary pediatrician.  We prefer to see our own patients every time too!

When your physician is at a conference, on vacation, or if their schedule is full, we will offer you an appointment with another provider.  We do not employ nurse practitioners or physician assistants, so you will see a pediatrician each time.

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