Apparently there’s a new issue on the horizon. Many parents are distraught over the fact that pediatricians are banding together and firing patients (many whom they have worked with for years) because they won’t vaccinate their children. No problem. These parents should just take their child to another pediatrician right? Except other pediatricians who do accept unvaccinated (or delayed schedule) patients have met their “quota” for the number of rebellious patients they will accept. They’ve also met their quota for ethnic minorities, homosexuals, patients who opt out of the full gamut of conventional treatment, and parents who don’t feed their kids vegetables.
I’m not sure where this whole “ultimatum” plan was concocted or who is in charge of it. I guess these doctors are so passionate about upholding the “standard of care” that they’re willing to provide no care at all if you don’t vaccinate. A little contradictory don’t you think? They’re so scared of the rash your unvaccinated child probably won’t get, that they’re not even going to come through for you should your child get a broken arm falling off the swing set. Even though you’ve been at their practice for years and they’ve witnessed all of little Johnny’s milestones…you’re out. Just like that.
One theory for the new policy is that pediatricians are trying to keep everyone safe from parents and their unvaccinated, germ-infested, little booger-pickers because they are the only ones who ever get sick right? According to a recent survey, children under six (and their families) are 3.2% more likely to experience flu-like symptoms within two weeks of a well-child check. Many babies were also the lucky recipients of post well-baby check ear infections. This equates to roughly 700,000 illnesses and more than $490 million annually. Scary right?
Can someone please remind me again where the data is located that shows unvaccinated children are the children associated with these ear infections? While we’re at it, let’s also look into the ineffectiveness of a flu shot in children under 6. And…lest we forget, most children at the doctor’s office are actually vaccinated and fever, flu-like symptoms (cough, sore throat, pneumonia, etc.), and ear infections (listed as “otitis media” on the vaccine package inserts) are common adverse reactions of getting vaccinated.
This same study said that despite the increased risk that your child might get sick from attending a well-child check, you shouldn’t avoid your “critically important“ appointment. Pretty ironic don’t you think? Child goes in, gets vaccinated, gets one of the adverse reactions on the vaccine package insert nobody reads,but since we don’t acknowledge vaccine adverse reactions, vaccine shedding, or vaccine-injured children, we’ll blame the unvaccinated and bar them from entering the golden gates of the practice. I guess well-child checks aren’t “critically important” for children like ours.
No worries. If you are on the receiving end of this royal five-star treatment and you are worried because media news sources have told you your child won’t have access to a doctor unless you vaccinate, you’re in luck because this isn’t true. Shall I clear a few things up?
Although the media would like you to believe you are at the mercy of a pediatrician who holds all of the cards in their hand, your doctor works for you and you “call the shots” when it comes to your kid. Your doctor is just one of the many members you should have on your family’s healthcare team. You establish with them, take your child in if they’re sick, and await their opinion on a course of action. You then weigh the merits of their opinion while also considering the bias, scope, and limitations of their education. (Despite what you may have heard, doctors do not know everything.)
You then consider the intricacies of your child and whether or not your doctor’s offered course of action is best for him/her and your family. You may take all of their advice. You may incorporate some. You may take none of it. As a patient (or parent of a patient), this is your right because you pushed a very large bowling ball out of a very tiny hole; you take care of your child every single day; nobody knows your child better than you; and you pay the insurance that reimburses your healthcare provider, or you pay out-of-pocket, in which case your dollar bill goes directly from your wallet to theirs. The only one who calls the shots when it comes to your child’s healthcare…is you.
However, if you are a lucky recipient of an unsubstantiated pink slip, be sure to fill out that patient satisfaction survey on your way out the door. I’m not a fan of ObamaCare. I wasn’t a fan when our family was living below the poverty level and didn’t have insurance and I’m not a fan now that we do have health insurance; but one thing we have to take into account is the new way physicians are going to be reimbursed under ObamaCare. Now I know, most of us never think about these things, but let me tell you why this whole “unvaccinated patient shut-out tactic” isn’t going to work.
The new way doctors are going to be reimbursed will depend in large part, on patient satisfaction surveys from people like us. If a doctor has a low rating, they get lower reimbursement. The lower the rating the fewer the patients…because who wants to go to a poorly rated doctor? If you get “let go” from a practice for not vaccinating or for doing a delayed schedule, fill out one of these lovely “not so satisfied” surveys and go online and rate them there too.
Under ObamaCare, physicians and hospitals will also receive less reimbursement for those patients who are frequently sick and bounce in and out of the hospital. In other words, they’re going to find out real quick who their healthier patients are and they’ll realize they booted them out the door when they joined the “I discriminate against unvaccinated children” club. They’ll also have to acknowledge that vaccine-injured children exist. Okay, maybe that’s just wishful thinking, but this will affect their bottom line.
Now that you’re in search of a new healthcare provider, how does one go about finding the “perfect doctor?” Maybe the title of this post was a little misleading because there is no perfect doctor. There are however, really good doctors who value your parental autonomy and are passionate about providing services and quality medical care to all children despite their vaccination status. Here’s how you find one of these diamonds in the rough:
1. Ditch the Pediatrician and get a Family Medicine Physician. I’m not saying good pediatricians aren’t out there; they are just really hard to find. Unless you know of a really good one or have a friend who knows somebody, who has a neighbor with a kid who knew this other kid at playgroup, who had a mom who was actually willing to give you the number to that top-notch pediatrician, don’t bother.
Pediatricians are not the only ones who can do well-checks, who can take care of your child when they’re sick, and who have hospital privileges and the full authority to write prescriptions. A Family Medicine Physician has an extremely well-rounded education, doesn’t center their practice around well-child checks and vaccinations, and can provide primary care for your entire family from the cradle to the grave. You want to vaccinate? They can do it. You want to opt out? They won’t stand in your way. You want to delay? They’ll hold off vaccinating that day. Sounds like a wonderful physician doesn’t it?
Although I am sure there are some great female physicians out there, we’ve had the best luck with male, old-school, laid-back, Family Practice Doctors. Yes, surprisingly the ones who witnessed the “polio” epidemics are the physicians who are more likely to be on your side and are less influenced by one-sided, biased, largely inaccurate, false and misleading propaganda. Or, maybe it’s because they have made all of their money and are so close to retiring that they’re just practicing medicine because they love it. Maybe these physicians are less likely to be bullied into submission, or maybe, they just have this amazing ability to remember that they are the doctors and you are the parent.
Either way they’re your friend. Get one. Oh yeah, remember that little study we talked about above? Children are less likely to get sick from a well-child check at a family medicine practice. If you’re thinking this is ironic because sick people frequent both of these places but family practices typically don’t base their entire practice around shots, you’re not the only one.
2. Google is your friend. Apparently, I am the queen of Google. I graciously accept this title and when it comes to establishing with a physician, a good Internet search is the first place I turn. Remember, you are doing the hiring here. Look up physicians in your area, single out a name, and look for reviews. Go to message boards, join private Facebook groups, talk to other parents, and do your research before you go to your appointment. This will save you from the endless wave of bullying, coercion, and threats you’ll get if you walk into a staunchly pro-vaccine doctor’s office and declare your distaste for anything vaccine.
3. Once you locate a doctor, call their office and find out what their policy is on vaccinations. I like to take things a step further and call the office to ask questions before I make an appointment. I always ask the nurse if the physician respects a parent’s autonomy over their child’s vaccination decision. Phrasing the question in this way often elicits a more receptive answer. Most doctors think twice before stating they’re anti-parental rights. Now, it’s okay to go to a physician who supports vaccines, but what you want is a physician who respects your decision despite their own personal bias. These my friends, are the good doctors.
4. Now that you’ve met your super cool new doctor who actually practices medicine and understands and respects the hierarchy as it pertains to your child, you might be asked to sign a liability waiver for refusing vaccines. You then have two options. (Well three, but blindly signing this form “as is” is really stupid so we’ll skip that one.) I understand why a physician wants a patient to sign a waiver. They are protecting themselves should you decide later to sue if your child gets something “vaccine preventable” like chicken pox. (Please…do not sue your doctor if your child gets a rash).
We live in a lawsuit crazy world so I can completely understand why a physician who goes against the “anti-vax haters club” doesn’t want to be on the hook for our parenting decisions. However, absolutely under no circumstances should you sign a form that says you are admitting to negligence or abuse by not vaccinating your child. Never, ever, ever sign this form without first either crossing out that language or requesting a waiver void of that language. Even then, you are not obligated to sign this form (or you can make up your own waiver).
5. Now I don’t want to scare you here, but there is a potential (okay there are many) downside to Obamacare and there’s one roadblock to keep in mind. Rumor has it that patient reimbursement will one day be based on the vaccination status of a doctor’s patient population, which could be another reason why some doctors are booting us out. If this ultimately happens, establish with a doctor who has a cash-based practice and demand better from our government.
Here’s the bottom line: Despite what you hear on the media, your doctor works for you. If they discriminate against your family because you have chosen to delay vaccines or opt out, find a physician who upholds the standard of care, who actually provides care to all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, or parenting practices, and who values your parental rights and the autonomy of the patient.
I’m not sure what’s worse, people who view unvaccinated children as “high-risk” and deadly contagions and think its okay to ban sick children from a doctor’s office, or those who don’t and think it’s okay to ban healthy children. Either way, no shots, no doctor, not true. Go out and get yourself a new physician and when you find one, shower them with thanks, goodies, and gift baskets.
Read the disclaimer here. This is my personal opinion, not medical or legal advice. This website is a blog, not the encyclopedia Britannica. If you liked this post, share it and follow Living Whole on Facebook.