Disclaimer: This is not a paid post. As a somewhat frequent customer with my three kids, I am biased based on the care we have consistently received since they opened in Midwood. I have also been surprised by how few of my neighbors know of this option.
BENSONHURST – If you have children, you know that most of the accidents happen on your watch. Usually at a time most inconvenient – too late for the pediatrician, too minor for the Emergency Room.
“Is that ankle broken or just sprained? Does he need stitches? Is this strep?” I’m sure I am not the only parent who’s had those questions at 8:45 pm. For the last few years in these cases, I’ve taken my kids to PM Pediatrics in Midwood.
PM Pediatrics is an urgent care facility just for kids from birth up to age 26, and their well-equipped locations (all have x-rays and labs) bridge the gap from when your pediatrician cannot see your child, but the injury does not warrant a trip to the Emergency Room.
Their third Brooklyn facility opened on Monday at 1823 86th Street in Bensonhurst, across from Marshalls. Like all of their locations, it is open only in the PM hours (that’s what PM stands for), even though initially Bensonhurst location will have 4pm-midnight hours on weekdays and noon-midnight hours on weekends and holidays.
As a parent of three, who works unpredictable hours, having PM Pediatrics close by has been a total game-changer for our family.
Though we have a good pediatrician, they are usually unavailable when most needed. While there is excellent pediatric care available at Brooklyn Hospitals, it takes hours, and the copay is high. A visit to the pediatrician inevitably means missed work for the parent. Most other Urgent Care facilities that will see kids along with grownups close by 9pm.
PM Pediatrics was started to serve working parents, like me and you, by two friends, Dr. Jeffrey Schor and Steven Katz, in Long Island. Dr. Schor, who set up the Pediatric ER at New York Hospital Queens (now New York Presbyterian /Queens), observed that most of his young patients visited the ER for non-life threatening care, care that given appropriate facilities and trained staff could be provided in a more efficient and pleasant setting. Unfortunately, no such facilities existed. When his kids had medical emergencies their pediatrician was also usually unavailable, and so the idea was born. The first PM Pediatrics practice opened in 2005.
Fast forward a few years, and PM Pediatrics is a network of 28 pediatric urgent care facilities across the East Coast, staffed with pediatricians specialized in emergency medicine – doctors who are able to successfully treat children outside the hospital setting, Dr. Christina Johns tells me when I call to ask more about the practice and Bensonhurst location.
Dr. Christina is the friendly face you come across on the PM Pediatrics site when looking for medical advice, which she dispenses through her blog, Dear Dr. Christina. Her latest posts address Meningitis, three illnesses you can get in the water (do read if you visit local pools), and hydration, all in a language a parent can relate to, and timely for the summer.
PM Pediatrics facilities each have a different theme, and the one in Bensonhurst is a nod to the area’s rather recent agricultural past. (Midwood location is filled with jungle animals).
Each facility is equipped with x-rays and an on-site lab to be able to diagnose young patients quickly. Administering stitches, splints, or IV fluids for stomach flu is all in a days work, Dr. Christina notes. While the patients tend to skew younger, their offices see a good share of kids for mono, campus wellness, and reproductive health issues, in addition to broken bones and earaches.
The information is then shared with the primary care physicians of their patients, to ensure there is continuity of care and follow up, but they also work with the Emergency Rooms when needed “to help kids get better faster”, Dr. Christina adds.
While you can always just walk in, PM Pediatrics does have an app, and it is possible to reserve your spot before you head over. Dr. Christina reminds that they will still triage the incoming patients to make sure that those with more urgent needs get seen first. Asked about average wait times, she says its about 20 minutes, which is about the longest my kids and I have ever had to wait.
Both of their Southern Brooklyn locations are in neighborhoods that are home to large immigrant populations, so I asked her about how the staff communicates with patients who do not speak English.
PM Pediatrics uses a service called In Demand Interpreting, which provides medical interpreting for those whose English is limited, as well as deaf and hard of hearing patients, she said. In practice that means, that when needed, an interpreter will assist either through a video face time or through the phone, to make sure that patients are understood by the doctor and understand instructions in turn. All to provide them with the best care possible, as quickly and pleasantly as possible.