Medical care has become so fragmented and so specialized that if a child or adult has a disability or a complicated medical problem, many different professionals may be needed. Unfortunately, there is often too little communication among the various team members.
It is hard to send reports to everyone involved, but this is an important step for a patient to get good care. If the parents of children or family members of adult patients insist reports are sent, this can make a difference. Often it is necessary to call the office staff in the different offices to be sure reports have been received. When a child has a medical problem, I have always advised parents to keep a file as in a loose-leaf binder. Keeping medical records is always a good idea for everyone.
A medical team may consist not only of physicians, but also nurses, social workers, physical and occupational therapists and even speech therapists. Respiratory therapists may be needed depending on the nature of the problem. A dietitian can be a valuable addition to the team. I recently referred a teenager for surgery to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital and was greatly impressed, as were the parents, at the wonderful medical team they had caring for the girl. As her father said, "It was a fantastic experience." The family were from out of state and had to travel quite a distance to get there, but the outstanding care was worth it. I wish all medical teams could operate so well. Children and adults deserve this kind of care and families need to demand it.