Can you imagine your pediatrician firing you? Can you imagine how you would feel if the pediatrician informed you that you can no longer bring your child to their practice? It’s actually happening in some areas where parents are refusing immunizations for their infants for whatever reason.
Some parents are not comfortable with immunizing an infant due to religious or medical practices. Still others would prefer to wait if their child has a cold. Many pediatricians will go ahead and give an infant their shots as long as the baby is not running a fever. If you’re like me, the last thing you want to do is add to your infant’s misery.
I’ve been there for every shot my daughter has ever had. When she was a baby, those shots came three and four at a time. She often felt pretty lousy for a day or two after she got them. If she were already sick, why would I subject her to that? Would I subject her to that if she was sick and I was worried the pediatrician was going to kick us out of his or her practice?
A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine says that 85 percent of pediatric physicians have encountered vaccine refusal by parents during a one-year study period. Of those 85 percent, 39 percent said they would dismiss a family for refusing all vaccines and 28 percent said they would dismiss a family for selectively refusing or delaying vaccines.
Trust between Physician & Patient
There is a distinct decline of trust between patients and physicians as more and more patients are able to educate themselves to health concerns via the Internet. Disease prevention and immunization are among the key goals of any pediatric physician. Yes, there are concerns about vaccines. These concerns are from their effect on long-term health and more.
It’s also important to protect our kids from current and future problems. There are related health issues with regard to even one child being without vaccinations can cause a ripple effect. Many childhood diseases are not gone, they are just controlled through vaccinations.
But whatever your stance on vaccination, the point is – you run the risk of losing your pediatrician if you don’t do what they want. This can increase tension in the exam room between the parent and the physician. You want to protect your baby and provide them with the best possible care – so you want to be able to work with your pediatrician – not be afraid of them or of their dismissal.
It is important for parents to be diligent in choosing their family as well as their pediatric physician:
- Ask for references from family and friends in order to identify physicians that have similar views to your own
- During the first visit, get your questions on the table, ask about their stance on breast feeding, ask about how they care for boys who have not been circumcised and ask about their vaccination policies.
- Check on their stance for homeopathy and other naturally organic treatment methodologies
- Don’t limit your questions to the physician, check out the office staff as well because more often than not you will be talking to the staff even more than you will the physician
- If there are multiple physicians in the office – be sure they all share the same philosophies
- Remember, you decide who your child’s doctor is – you need to have faith and trust in them and their philosophy
What has been your experience in choosing a pediatrician?