I recently read a story about pediatricians that refuse to see children when their parents’ decline vaccines.
It was the doctoring aspect of this story that caught my attention. Specifically, I was struck by the definitive and novel way that this group of doctors are dealing with the problem of patients that make unwise personal health choices–or in this case, the parents’ of the patient.
They simple fire them. It’s the doctor’s way or the highway.
Here’s Seattle pediatrician, Dr David Dyer,
“I think more physicians need to be more aggressive about vaccinating kids. If you’re not willing to vaccinate your kids, if you’re not willing to trust us and trust our judgment and education, then we have a philosophical difference here,” he said.
Dr. Dyer says he has turned away families and encourages other doctors to do the same.
As a cardiologist, that strategy made me laugh.
Poor lifestyle choices are the chief cause of heart disease. Heart doctors struggle to find ways to convince patients to make better lifestyle choices. We urge them to eat less, exercise more, and not to smoke. But when they don’t do these things, we still squish their blockages, burn their rogue electrical circuits and implant lifesaving devices.
Even when patients do really dumb things, like over-indulge in alcohol, we still shock their “Holiday Hearts” back to regular rhythm.
It seems the epidemic of patients-making-unwise-health-choices has now spread to the world of childrens’ health. This is a new problem for pediatricians, for if left alone, kids default to living healthy. They eat when hungry,
exercise play as a matter of routine, and they go to sleep when it’s bedtime. They don’t drink gin and tonics either. I often counsel my AF patients to live as a child would.
So what do I say to doctors who fire patients that make unwise health choices?
Welcome to my world.
h/t to Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, aka @SeattleMamaDoc