I had my first meeting with a perspective pediatrician today... a phone meeting which went unequivocally badly. As someone who's naturally wary of doctors, the medical profession isn't doing anything to assuage my fears of them being smug non-evidence-based assholes. Here's the way the good doctor 'addressed my questions' about joining her practice:
1) Home birth? Wow, that's really risky... They always call me in when something goes wrong with that! In that case, please make sure you bring in the baby THE NEXT DAY IF NOT THE SAME DAY to make sure, you know, everything came out okay, and all the right stuff is still attached.
2) Splitting up vaccinations? That's overzealous. There's no real risk to aluminum since it flushes out of the system in 24 hours. We stick to the CDC schedule here.
3) Circumcision? Well, they usually do that in the hospital, so if you're CHOOSING not to DELIVER in the hospital, then I guess you'll need to take your baby to the hospital for that.
And then she's all: Look forward to seeing you when the baby comes!
As Dan pointed out to me after the call, it's like doctor's today are Catholic priests of the middle ages.... they're all like: "Why are you attempting to reason for yourself? We already have all the answers right here for you!"
Unfortunately, the doctor's responses reveal not only blatant anti-hippy prejudice, but a basic failing in the area of statistics:
1) Of course you only see the times when home birth goes terribly wrong... that's the only time folks come into the hospital! That's called sampling bias. In other words, she's seeing the 5% of home birth cases that end in large medical complications, and making a judgement on the safety of home birth as if that 5% were 100%. However, this judgement disregards the risks in the opposite direction, like 30% of the hospital births which end in c-section.
2) Wow, you mention vaccinations and doctor's crazy flags sure do go up. As someone who 100% supports complete vaccination, I have to worry about a doctor who won't even entertain parental concern about toxic levels of aluminum (regardless of whether they occur for longer than 24 hours... aluminum is a neurotoxin... how long do you feel comfortable exposing your brain to a level 20 times higher than EPA recommendations for toxicity? Or do you just trust the politicians at the CDC more than the politicians at the EPA?) Doctors shot kids up with mercury for 15 years before they were all, oops! just kidding, that shit causes autism. But NOW we've got it all figure out; trust us NOW!
Double unfortunately, we still need a doctor for our kid, and precious time is running out. It took me a week to get this one on the phone, and she came highly recommended (admittedly, by people who don't share our anti-interventionist values and actual grasp of mathematics, but then again I don't know anyone else who does.) Dan has agreed to help research and call doctors this week. I don't know what else to do... In my desperation I even called my Mom to ask for help, and she very helpfully told me to get recommendations and call more doctors. (Why do I have to get a project manager for a mother and not, like, say, a mother? Remind me to call her again when I want to get super bossed around about shit I already know!) The good news is that the stress from this situation made it so I couldn't sleep all night, so I just got like four hours of work done between midnight and 4am! Guess who just freed up the morning to call doctors!