Bringing families together for group well-child visits can yield valuable dividends for parents, patients-and you.
DR. ANDERSON is clinical professor of pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco. She has nothing to disclose in regard to affiliation with, or financial interests in, any organization that may have an interest in any part of this article.
"If you had told me my child was normal, I never would have believed you, Dr. Anderson. But hearing the other families in the group describe their children's behavior reassured me that my daughter is OK." These words, spoken by a physician-father, powerfully illustrate the impact that group well-child visits can have on parents. For me, these visits have dramatically increased my knowledge of well-child care and parental concerns and rejuvenated my love of pediatrics.
As are many pediatricians, I was in "midlife crisis"-tired of repeating the same information at individual well-child visits, frustrated at my inability to include all the anticipatory guidance expected of me, and exhausted by hearing families express the same concerns about their normal babies, knowing the parents would not easily accept my reassurance.