Recently, a friend told me that her pediatrician didn’t seem to like kids. Or, at least, he didn’t seem to like her kids. “He just seems annoyed by them,” she said. “He sighs when they run around the office, but they can’t help it; they’re two and three.” But she quickly followed that thought by stating that it didn’t really matter: the doc in question had not one, but two Ivy League degrees, and she knew her children were getting top-notch medical care.
I couldn’t disagree with her more.
Bedside manner ranks as one of the most important qualities when I choose a doctor, whether it is for myself or for my toddler daughter. Sure, I’m also impressed by cream-of-the-crop educational credentials, and I do look for someone who is affiliated with a superior hospital. But still, the most important factor influencing my decision is personality: I want someone I feel comfortable with, someone I can rely on and trust. As a first-time parent this has been of supreme importance. I appreciate that in 18 months my daughter’s pediatrician has never — not once — made me feel like an idiot for calling at odd hours and asking what surely must have sounded like odd, neurotic (and possibly idiotic) questions.
So how do you choose a physician? Our annual Top Doctors cover story (read it here) is certainly a good starting point. The 127 local physicians who made this year’s list received glowing recommendations — not from our editorial staff, but from their own colleagues: hospital administrators and (most tellingly) other doctors in the region. So when you’re looking for a medical professional, we hope you’ll keep this list handy to use as a starting point in your search for quality care.
Also in this issue is our annual roundup of the fairs and festivals that mark the summer season — click here to see our list. From the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (which turns 25 this year) and Powerhouse Theater to the brand-new Bluestock at Hunter Mountain, there is more to see and do each year. And after the winter of our discontent, we surely need to have a little fun, so get your tickets soon.
I’m also a huge fan of the county fair (find our roundup here). I admit, in my late teens and early 20s, I had lost interest in such venues: I thought I had more highfalutin places to go. But there is nothing that takes me back faster to the innocent summer days of my youth than roaming around the Dutchess County Fairgrounds; ooohing and aaahing at the baby animals, watching a pig race, having a caricature drawn, taking in a show under the stars (check out Travis Tritt and Chubby Checker), or eating that fine fair food. My friend tells me that once a year, at the fair, she will indulge her inner child and stuff herself silly with cotton candy. I think cotton candy is gross. But I’ll stand on line forever for one of those famous strawberry shakes.
Enjoy the summer,
Olivia J. Abel
Editor In Chief