Sunday, February 19, 2012

Doctors drop vaccine-refusing families

Great article by WSJ: More Doctors "Fire" Vaccine Refusers!

It's kind of horrible I know—doctors refusing to treat families who refuse vaccination. Because really, the doctor's duty to society should include those who are disillusioned by vaccines, and should treat illnesses other than MMRV. But apparently, 30% of pediatricians in Connecticut and 21% in the midwest asked families who refused vaccinations to find another doctor. The trend has only climbed in the last decade, perhaps owing to increasing frustration as these parents refuse to believe scientific studies, the medical internet (where I personally diagnose myself with everything...), the risk of infections spreading from unvaccinated children in the waiting room (new type of nosocomial spread!!) or the fact that a large part of a pediatrician's job is actually providing vaccines.

Interestingly, this has created a group of families who can't really get pediatric care. That's quite sad, and a consequence I really had no idea was coming. I really appreciate that we don't blindly follow whatever our doctors tell us but take the time to become informed. However, there are definitely times where it's probably better to just listen to the doctor, despite how smart we think we are/how well we know our own bodies. I suspect I'd be a bad patient one day when I'm overprotective of my kids and haven't kept up on medical findings. Plus, I'll be one of those med students who comes in claiming they have cancer every 3 weeks.


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