I hope that you are all having a good Halloween weekend. There have been many recent changes in pediatric care in Amarillo. The local pediatricians were very stressed after the retirement of Dr. Williams 6 months ago. With the announcement of Dr. Walsh retiring effective today, my four call partners have decided to no longer participate in a call rotation. In addition, they will no longer see patients on the weekends, see babies at the hospital nursery, perform circumcisions, or admit patients to the pediatric floors. Here is a list of the following changes that will occur at my office:
- With no call rotation, there will be no on call physician each night. All the former call group partners have decided to use a national service staffed by Registered Nurses to answer questions at night and on the weekends. I am forced to use a service of this type because I am physically unable to take call every night. My office will be charged $15 per call for this service, and we will be billing this $15 to the family.
- With no call rotation, I will be unable to care for patients on the pediatric floor. At NWTH, my patients will be admitted by Texas Tech Pediatrics, and, at BSA, my patients will be admitted by Dr. Nandu Raghuram, the pediatric intensive care physician.
- I will no longer regularly attend cesarean sections due to the amount of time required to travel to and from the hospital and the length of the procedure. The nursery staff or NICU staff at each hospital will attend cesarean sections on my behalf.
- Fortunately, I have been able to obtain coverage to continue to see newborns at both hospitals. At NWTH, I will work with the Texas Tech Pediatric service, and, at BSA, I will work with Dr. Clements, the neonatologist. These services will provide coverage at night, on weekends, and when I am out of town. This will allow me to be the only private pediatrician in Amarillo who regularly sees newborns in the hospital. I will also continue to perform circumcisions on my patients
- With no call rotation, there will be no pediatric offices with regular weekend hours. It is my goal to provide regular Saturday office hours within the next few months. At this time, we will be working 2 Saturdays per month. We will make a Facebook post on each Friday letting you know if we will be in the office on Saturday.
- Liz Rogers, RN FNP has worked for many years with me in the past. She has agreed to rejoin the office starting November 1. This will reduce the time required to get an ill child scheduled and reduce the number of after-hours visits.
The entire office was honored to have been chosen as “Best of Amarillo” for the sixth straight year. We appreciate the trust that you have placed in us, and we truly love taking care of your children.
As always, we ask that you call us first when your child is ill or injured, rather than visiting an urgent care center. Continuity of care is very important in order to increase the accuracy of diagnosis and to decrease unnecessary medication exposure.
The office will continue to accept all newborns and former patients who move back to Amarillo. Each month, we will accept a few new patients to compensate for those patients that move away from Amarillo and those who become adults and move to family physicians. If you recommend the office to your friends, please make sure that they provide your name. We are much more likely to accept patients recommended by our current families.
John M. Young, MD