Pediatricians in Oil Country | VideoAlex Hagan | 10/22/2012
Stephanie Hodson`s son Corbin has breathing problems and sometimes she doesn`t know where to take him.
"The clinics here are very very full so if there was an emergency with him, we would most likely get sent to the emergency room," she said.
There aren`t enough pediatricians in Dickinson, and those who do work there are busy around the clock. That means parents sometimes have to drive for hours to have their kids looked at.
"I looked at my schedule this afternoon and I have two people coming from an hour and half away to come see us because there`s a lack of pediatricians in the entire area of this part of North Dakota," said pediatrician Dr. Kristen Prescott
The need for pediatricians was so important, that physicians who normally specialize in other areas had to take over. However St. Josephs Hospital recently hired three new pediatricians to fill the need.
"The pediatricians that are here are already busy and so it helps to be able to have your child seen when they need to be seen and not have to wait one or two weeks," said pediatrician Dr. Richelle Bautista-Azores.
All three doctors came from communities without a shortage.
"Theres not enough pediatricians to be able to care for the kids, was a surprise to me and it actually made me feel quite wanted and needed and excited to take care of the kids here," said pediatrician Dr. Wanda Abreu.
Having those physicians available continues to make a huge difference for parents.
"Dr. Prescott agreed to see Corbin. Se saw the severity of his breathing and she pulled him back into the room and she treated him, no questions, no hesitation. I was very blessed," Hodson said.
These three doctors may not completely solve the need for pediatricians, but it is a step in the right direction.
All three doctors arrived in August. They say 90 percent of their patients are new to Dickinson as well.