Posts Tagged ‘doctors and their impact on parental mmunization decisions’

Pediatricians Using Social Media For Good

April 26, 2013 4 comments

As we wrap up National Infant Immunization Week, I want to acknowledge the many providers who continue to help parents understand the importance of childhood immunizations. While we may be fortunate to have a rewarding doctor/patient relationship with a provider in our local community, today’s technology allows us the unique opportunity to gain access to experts all over the country. 

Just this week, I was reminded of the many pediatricians who are so passionate about children’s health that they are consistently working to share important immunization message far beyond the limits of their personal practice.  They represent a few of the most committed vaccine advocates we have in our online community.

McCarthyClaireAs a mother and pediatrician, Dr. Claire McCarthy, also known as MD Mama, wrote a passionate piece recently which asked, “If you believe in vaccines, can you speak up?”  She begins by highlighting the recent study that was released in the journal Pediatrics, in which researchers were able to determine the significant level of influence that our social networks have on our immunization decisions.  Yet, she didn’t stop there.  She goes on to make a heartfelt plea to parents everywhere in the interest of better public health.

“Those of you who immunize your children…could you talk about it? Can you tell people why you choose to do it? Can you tell them what your doctor has told you about vaccines, and what you’ve learned on your own? Can you let them know how you think about the risks–and how your kids handled their vaccines? If you’ve ever seen a child with a vaccine-preventable illness like pertussis (whooping cough), can you talk about that too?”

She goes on to say,

“You might not change anybody’s mind. But maybe you will. Maybe you’ll stop a child–or a whole bunch of children–from getting measles or pertussis or influenza, or meningitis or hepatitis or another vaccine-preventable illness.”

How the Doctor/Parent Relationship Can Impact Immunization Decisions

February 24, 2012 2 comments

Last year at this time my ten-year old daughter was in and out of the doctor’s office, ER and then finally admitted to the hospital as we struggled to diagnose and treat what proved to be a dangerous health issue.

During the parade of doctors, interns, nurses and technicians that we encountered along the way, many would inquire what she wanted to be when she grew up.  I presumed they were simply making small talk or hoping to hear that she wanted to pursue a career in the field of medicine.  While that is certainly not the case for my budding fashionista, who dreams of designing her own line of clothes, I discovered that I was the one with a bit of career envy. 

The fact is, when your child is in pain and you have more questions than answers, it can be quite nerve-racking.  While I certainly felt that the medical staff had her best interest at heart, I couldn’t help but wish I had the medical training to take care of these issues myself.  I couldn’t help but wish I had become a doctor so that I wouldn’t have to rely on others for all the answers.

What was even more frustrating was that during the course of this ordeal, the various doctors and specialists often had a difference of opinion about her diagnosis.  I quickly realized that while science can often provide us with hard evidence, there are times when it is an intricate puzzle.  Fortunately for us, after a total of about three weeks and numerous tests, the puzzle came together and we had a clear understanding of the problem at hand.

However, when it came time to decide on treatment, the doctors again presented a choice of recommendations.  Ultimately, my husband and I were responsible for making the final decision, but we would have been foolish not to rely on the training, advice and experience of our daughter’s doctors.

Through this experience I realized some important things about the doctor/parent relationship. Read more…