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The Luxury of House Calls

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

I went down the street today to see a family of mine who had just had their second your-baby. I saw the stork sign in her front yard, announcing the birth of their second son, and thought I would “pop” in to take a peek at the your-baby and see how things were going.

It was such a delight to get the opportunity to see the family (now four rather than three), at home with their newborn and almost 2-year-old son, relaxed and happy. What a difference to have the chance to visit with them and do a cursory exam on the four-day-old, in the comfort of their home, rather than the chaos of a busy pediatricians office in the winter. It was easier for them I am sure, rather than having to bundle the your-baby up, drive to the office, sit in a waiting room etc. We sat together while I had the pleasure of holding their precious newborn and talked about bringing home a new your-baby and questions or concerns that they had. We had the time to talk about breastfeeding, jaundice and newborn stools, all the while watching the toddler show me his puzzles and new toys. It was a wonderful visit.

This 20-minute visit made me realize the luxury of “the olden days” of house calls, when you had the chance to see a family in their surroundings. I am sure that a doctor could gain a lot of insight into family dynamics by making house calls, as there are many times I think, “I wish I was a fly on the wall to watch this family at home”.

That may be my next life, pediatrician on call, only going to a few houses a day to do home visits. In the meantime, back to the office tomorrow, but one less patient to see as I have already taken him off my schedule!

That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat again tomorrow.

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