A pediatrician and a mom talk about the foundations of a great relationship
When she had children, Erin N. took them to her own childhood pediatrician. A few years on, as that doctor was moving toward retirement, he brought on a younger colleague, Theresa Giannattasio, DO. “She was wonderful,” Erin says. “From the first visit, I felt very comfortable, and it was a smooth transition to receive our care from her.” So, when Dr. Giannattasio moved to Atlantic Health System several years ago, Erin decided that the family would make the move as well, driving from their Rockaway home. “It just made sense,” Erin says. “She was the one who was treating my children.” (Gianluca, now 15, and Maria, now 11.)
“I was thrilled when I saw the family on my schedule,” Dr. Giannattasio says. “When a family puts their trust in you, that is very special.”
What is the secret of a great parent-pediatrician relationship? Asked separately, Erin and Dr. Giannattasio had similar responses.
Are They Willing to Listen?
“First and foremost, you want to be heard — to find a doctor that is quick to offer some comfort and, if possible, a quick resolution,” Erin says. “When you meet a doctor, do you feel comfortable, and do you feel that they genuinely have the best interests of your child at heart?” says Dr. Giannattasio.
Are They Accessible?
Gianluca recently had three bloody noses in a week. “We all get a bloody nose from time to time, but that made me nervous,” Erin says. “I reached out to Dr. Giannattasio and said, ‘Do I need to panic or is this normal?’ She got back to me immediately and put my mind at ease.”
“No matter what age your child is, you want to be able to see your doctor quickly for guidance and reassurance,” Dr. Giannattasio says.
Do They Know Their Patients as People?
“When you meet a family and mesh with them, it’s not just that you are their primary care doctor; you become part of a family dynamic,” Dr. Giannattasio says. “My children have very different personalities and she understands that,” Erin says. “She knows their personalities and concerns, the areas in which they are nervous and apprehensive and she is ready right away to put them at ease.”
Theresa Giannattasio, DO, and Atlantic Medical Group Pediatrics at Florham Park are part of Atlantic Medical Group, a multispecialty network of health care clinicians. Dr. Giannattasio can be reached at 973-992-5588.