Friday, August 22, 2008

Open Letter To My Doctor

Dear Doctor,

I admire how many years of schooling and dedication it took to get where you are now. I know you had many more years of schooling than I have had. I am aware you know your business. Doctor, what I ask of you is that you do not talk down to me. When I tell you that I want to delay vaccinations in my children, don't tell me "you really shouldn't believe everything you read on the Internet" implying that I read a blurb about autism and decided to never vaccinate my children.
I have read numerous studies, article and AMA writings on the subject, have you ever updated your education with studies that were NOT paid for by big pharma? Or do you chose to vaccinate my children on such a schedule because the pharmaceutical companies tell you it is okay to, or maybe just the pharma reps who take you to Yankee games and your family out to dinner?

Don't try and scare me but telling me of death in young children, blindness or even severe illness. Trying to shock or scare me isn't going to work. I know the risks. I would never want my children to be sick or contract a horrible disease. I want them to be protected from these diseases, I just don't want to overload young, immature immune and nervous systems with the toxins that are in these vaccinations.

Let me ask you this, if you give my baby 4 vaccinations today, and he has a reaction to one, like soreness, redness, fever or much worse which are very common, how would you ever know which immunization he reacted to? It doesn't make sense to me, but I know I never went to medical school.
You did though, and even you couldn't even answer this question.
Can you tell me why pharmaceutical companies have NEVER CURED ONE CHRONIC DISEASE? Is it because keeping people with diabetes, asthma or anything else a lifelong customer of their drugs is more profitable? Why are you falling for it?

You cannot explain to me why NJ has the highest autism rate in the country, or how I can save my babies from such a diagnosis. All you can do is regurgitate information you are given from the government.

Please, next time you want to talk about immunization schedules and studies, do so without talking to me like I am stupid. Talk to me like I am a mother trying to do what is best for her children.
Because that is what I am, and I am sure when you set out to be a pediatrician helping children be well is what your goal was.
So please, choose your battles, because fighting with me will get you nowhere.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to go find another pediatrician.

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  1. The I-Man and his wife, the Green Ho, say if you insist on single dose vaccinations, you should be assured of no thimerosol.... surely E should know a bit about when thimerosol is used as a preservative (like in the multi-dose bottles of vaccine) and when it is not (no need for it in a single-dose container).

  2. UR, Sure, thimerosol is a bad preservative (merck has interoffice memos dating back form the 70s saying how they know it is bad) but what about formaldehyde
    or anything else they use as a preservative?

    Not only that but why mandate vaccines liek gardasil, varicella or flu (which still has thimersol in it)?

  3. Oh, and I am distrubed that you listen to Imus.

  4. It was my understanding the single-dose vials don't use ANY preservative.

    And, does this mean you won't be pre-ordering The Imus Ranch Record

  5. proud doctor's wife2:40 PM

    As the wife of a physician, I am insulted that you could insinuate that doctors only do things for their patients because someone takes them to a baseball game or a fancy dinner. You obviously have abslolutely no idea the committment that it takes to become a physician. The hours of work and time away from your family. Are you aware of how many doctors end up divorced because patient care always comes first. What is more important.... someone is dying or it's my wedding anniversary? Do you have any clue the financial toll it takes on someone to become a physician? You seem clueless about the desire that your doctor has to keep your children and the population safe. I respect your conservative attitude towards vaccination. I too was nervous in vaccinating my children, but trusted that my children's doctor would never do anything to intentionally harm my children. Are you serious when you think cures aren't found because drug companies want to make money? That is some conspiracy theory you have there. Do I think all is perfect? Absolutely not. Do I think there is never a rotten apple?......absolutely not. There are huge dangers in not vaccinating that are PROVEN and not theorized like those of not vaccinating. If you are passionate about what causes austism then go looking, volunteer, raise money, BE AN ADVOCATE. Maybe find out what's wrong with NJ and why that state has such a high rate of autism. I am sorry you feel that your doctor talked down to you and that is an issue you should deal with. If finding a new pediatrician is the answer then go for it....I change drs too. But, please don't insult the profession or the work this dr did/does by saying their recommendations are made because of gifts/payoffs. It is disturbing to think that anyone would think my husband or friends in the profession would be so unscrupulous. It is writings like that this are damaging to the confidence people have in the medical world and prohibit people from reading research to make independent educated decisions.

  6. Anonymous Dr: As someone who has worked for a large pharmaceutical company, I know for a fact that a lot of doctors look for free hand outs (as well as the fact that it IS all about making money. Drugs are a BUSINESS first and foremost. They'd report on financials before they'd report on whether or not the drug was safe, unless the crap hit the fan). It's sad, but true. Maybe that doesn't ring true for you, but it's more prevalent than you think. As for your hard work, and effort and time away from your family, I appreciate it, but that's the path that YOU chose. Sorry you're insulted, but I've had my share of unethical doctors. I've had my fair share of good ones too an I appreciate them a lot.

  7. proud doctors wife, I do not think all doctors are unscrupulous. I have encountered doctors who are true heroes HOWEVER, my husband works in the industry. He has been told by doctors that they willwrite his drugs if he was willing to buy them something from Tiffanys or if he would just give them money. THAT IS A FACT.
    perhaps it is just the doctors in the NY/NJ/PA area who are like this? Not sure but my husband has 10 years of stories that I could tell you. They will write the drug if the price is right, and THAT is why the government had to step in and take a stand against honorariums, giveaways, trips, dinners for a family of 5 ect.

    Some doctors are good, some are not just like the population of any occupation.

    I do research, I do help people understand the pros and cons of vaccinations. I also do not judge someone because they are trying to do what is best for their child. THAT is what my pediatrician and the 3 others I had before him did.

  8. I am a believer that in ANY given occupation, there are only a few who are really good at what they do. In fact, I would argue that below the 50th percentile, in any given profession, I would consider them flat-out incompetent. And between, say, the 80th and the 51st percentile, is where the truly "average" or "mediocre" lie. And only between, say, the 95th and the 81st percentile is where those lie who we would consider "very good". Then there's the truly gifted and dedicated above the 95th percentile.

    Using this model, take note... fully 50% of any given occupation are flat-out charlatans. Incompetents. And the next 30% up to the 80th percentile are only mediocre, but not to the point of incompetents.

    That means, for any job you want to have done - your lawyer, your accountant, your plumber, your preacher, your landscraper, and, yes, especially your friggin' DOCTOR, there is at least a 50% chance you've got an incompetent if you selected the person at random.

    In fact, I would say that, for doctors, if you selected them totally at random and they were taking new patients, there is a much greater likelihood than 50% that they are incompetent. Why? Because the selection for a doctor is not totally random and doctors tend to close down their practices to new patients once they get to a certain number. So a totally random selection resulting in a doctor that was taking new patients will have a much greater likelihood than 50% that the person falls below that 50th percentile because not everyone selects at random... the the best ones will have already closed down their practices to new patients.

    Bottom line here: 50% of all doctors are quacks in spite of their years of schooling. They might as well be cutting the head off chickens and practicing voodoo a la Phillipe Moyez in The Devil's Advocate. If you selected your doctor totally at random, your have a much greater chance than 50/50 at getting one of these charlatans.

  9. my pediatrician told my husband and I that we would have to agree to disagree on the vaccination issue. I think that's the best we can expect.

    My kids are 3 and 5 and we've never had a problem.

    Doctors have no idea what the risks of vaccinations are, they are just irritated that anyone would question their judgment. I'm sure they believe 100% that vaccinations are safe and prevent disease.

    How can anyone trust an industry that sells drugs that they know can kill people, ie: Fen-phen, Vioxx?

  10. I haven't vaccinated my children. My mother was a homoeopath and I have confidence in treating my children with that. I don't have as much confidence inthe efficacy or benefits of vaccination.

    In Ireland we're still using the vaccinations rejected by the FDA in the States.

    The other thing that makes me confident of not vaccinating is that as a healthy, breastfed while, I had mumps, measles and whooping cough without any problem (this was before the MMR). As did a lot of my peer group.

    Of course there are sad stories about people who weren't so lucky, I know that. There are also tragic stories about people who had terrible reactions to vaccinations.

    I agree that pharmacology is a business first and foremost, and that dotors don't need to keep up their training once they're qualified.

    I just went to a great women's doctor, sadly not a family doctor, who told me to keep going to the homoeopath!

  11. I'm sorry it was such a pain with your doctor. Mine was very understanding about spreading them out/delaying, especially since I brought in the schedule I would be using for them. I think that helped her know I had done my research and wasn't blowing them all off on a single piece of overheard information. (it probably helps living in OR)

    As a parent, you are doing your job by advocating for your children. You're the one who would have to live with yourself should there be any side effects and you thought there had been anything you could have done diffently about the vaccines, even if they weren't the cause. 4 vaccines at once is a ton for tiny systems.
    It's too bad that there are Doctors who don't like to be questioned. Mine respected that I had researched it and was doing what I needed to do. I hope you find one who can work with you, not against you!

  12. How about I'm holding my rock fist aloft to you right now?!!

    I would totally flick my favorite orange bic, but it's MIA at the present.

    And to Proud Doctor's wife: Sensitive, much? I am the mother of two thriving, gorgeous and intelligent boys with Tourette Syndrome. They are thriving with no thanks to a 'conventional' medical establishment. Their chiropractor and a select cocktail of minerals is where all the credit gets thrown, because medical doctors wanted to basically dope my (young, developing) boys into oblivion to alleviate symptoms rather than get at the root of what their specific physiological puzzle presented.

    Hell, half of the time *I* was educating *them* on the complexities of this complex, much-misunderstood and -maligned neurobiological disorder. Don't preach about time invested, because just as we as parents have no right to wholesale condemn all purveryors of medicine, you have no right to defend a profession of people who feel around in the dark on the backs of many lesser-educated parents' blind trust. Continuing Education is often attempted in half-assed fashion at best. And please don't pretend that there are no kickbacks and perks to the profession. It is riddled with corruption.

    I'd let a nurse call the shots on my sons' care before I would a medical doctor ANY day. Those folks know what's UP.

  13. Good for you for standing up and switching pediatricians. A family member is a pharmaceutical rep and she experiences the same kind of demands mentioned. Any profession has bad eggs, doctors seeking handouts are hopefully the exception vs. the rule. My kids are fine, but I wish I'd spread things out way back in the day ('96, '97) just to be safe. Knowledge is power - glad the internet makes it so much easier these days to do online research of reputable studies.

    No matter what, if you are not happy with the doctor you need to find another -- but it is a kind person who enlightens the doctor on why she left.

  14. Yes! A new pediatrician who listens! Yes!

    I left my first ped when he got angry at me for wanting to know the ingredients (particularly the aluminum level) in one of the vaccines. He'd been willing to do the modified schedule I presented, but that was as far as he would go.

    My new ped is known for her flexible attitude about vaccines. In my interview with her, she told me that she was pro-vaccines but she felt the AAP schedule too aggressive, which fit what I wanted to do.

    FYI, she didn't think we needed to do the Rotavirus vax and so we stopped that one (I'd let that first ped go ahead with the first two vaccines that day, kicking myself for feeling cowed). I started with two per month, then after my boy had a reaction on his second round, went down to one a month.

    I still write mental letters to the first doctor over all the weird and just NOT PRESENT advice he gave me those first two months.

  15. Anonymous12:39 PM

    Wow, hot debate. I'm on the fence with the vaccines. Both my boys had them and had no problems..thank the Lord.

    I like the thought of demanding that they be spaced out - I've often wondered how we would tell to which drug were they reacting?

    I'm on the fence because, while I believe everyone has the right to raise their children the way they choose, everyone does NOT have the right to endanger public safety. I'm not a doctor or nurse, (or pharm. rep! lol) but I'm pretty sure I get how herd immunity works.. I'm also pretty sure that if any of us had witnessed debilitating diseases like polio we wouldn't be so quick to knock vaccines.

    On the other hand, I'm all for demanding better, less risky vaccines from the drug companies. And you bet your ass pharm. companies are out for profit. And our laws blanket that greed..we can thank our pocket politicians for that..and some doctors take advantage of their positions.

    Such a broad can of worms.

  16. Whoa. This is a personal decision. We all have opinions and beliefs. We can all spew facts that support our opinions and beliefs. In the end, we as parents choose to do what we believe is in the best interest of our children. Live and let live.

  17. I can sympathize with this. A while back, my daughter was having recurring daily stomaches - which sometimes got bad enough where she vomited.
    I called the dr. to make an appointment and just by hearing my 3 or 4 sentence description over the phone, the dr. diagnosed her with GERD and said she'd phone in a prescription for Prevacid.
    Well....I certainly wasn't going to put my daughter on such a potent drug, especially without the dr. having even set eyes on her.
    So, I did some research on my own, on many levels and talked to several different well-informed people, and ultimately settled on a natural solution that had her feeling better in 3 days.
    Not to say doctors aren't smart, but sometimes no one knows what's best for their child other than a mom.

  18. This is such a touchy subject and one that is close to my heart.

    We have chosen not to vaccinate our children, now 6 and 3. I feel that I have done the proper research and am 150% comfortable with our decision.

    We have had to "break up" with more than one pediatrician over the issue. Some were nice, others told me that I am a bad parent for endangering my child's life. This same doctor could not tell me if Thimerosol was used in the actual vial he intended to inject into my child that day. Could not tell me.

    We now see a Whole Life Health Family Practice and love it. We visit a chiropractor and seek herbal and homeopathic remedies as a first line of defense, however, they will prescribe an antibiotic or other traditional medicine, if necessary.

    Keep looking for the right fit for your family...and congratulations for having the bravery to be an advocate for your children. I applaud you.


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