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DOMINIQUE MIRANDA : 'Almost a Friend Type of Thing'

September 21, 1993

The only thing Dominique and Alfonso Miranda had to help them choose a doctor in 1985 was a book. It listed the doctors and hospitals who were part of the health maintenance organization to which the Los Angeles couple belonged.

Dominique was pregnant and wanted to have her baby at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center because she had heard of its reputation for obstetrics care.

"So I narrowed my choices down to doctors who worked out of Cedars. Then I narrowed it down to the area that was most convenient to go to," she said.

Miranda found two obstetricians in the book and made an appointment with one. The visit did not go well.

"I went into the examination, and the doctor wasn't real talkative. Then, in the middle of the examination, he stopped to fix the trash can! The pop-top wasn't popping."

After that, Dominique and the doctor disagreed on the need for an ultrasound.

"I'm not real picky. But I walked out of there with a bad feeling. He wasn't interested in my pregnancy. He wasn't very warm. My husband was in the waiting room. I said to him: 'You know what? I don't like this guy.' "

The other doctor on her list worked in the same building, so the couple decided to drop by. Without an appointment, the Mirandas met with the doctor for almost 25 minutes.

"He told me he would be there when I delivered the baby. That was important to me. A lot of people end up with a doctor they've never met delivering their baby."

But the importance of having a doctor she liked became even more important later. Over the years, she had several miscarriages. These unsuccessful attempts were emotionally draining.

Says Miranda: "I had one procedure when my doctor stayed at the hospital 24 hours. When I needed him in the middle of the night, he was there. He would say, 'I'm going to talk to your husband now.' Then he would come back to my side. It's almost a friend type of thing."

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