Friday, September 6, 2013

The New Pediatrician

  For those of  you who have been following all this, all I can say is 'so far so good'.  There has been no negative fallout on the real-world side from our departure from our pediatrician.  There have been no  visits from government workers, no inquiring phone calls. When the story went viral we got lots of interesting emails from people who  were supportive, and a handful of emails from  critical people.  Some people  encouraged me to  look outside of mainstream medicine.  To those people, let me say that I agree with you, for the most part, and  our doctor visits are rare. Some people   predicted death and suffering for my family. I managed to ignore those people.
  But as the hoopla died down, I was tasked with finding a new family doctor that would  meet our needs, not violate our convictions, and  that made my wife comfortable. Not exactly an easy task.
  I started working the yellow pages, and amassed a  short list of potential candidates. Some of them  weren't taking new patients,  at least 2 were getting ready to retire, and maybe  4 or 5  had been absorbed into the local South Georgia Healthcare Borg compound.  This meant, in the short term, that they had no receptionist, just a maddening phone tree with no human beings in sight.  Long term, it meant all their office policies were dictated by corporate bean-counters, which didn't bode well.  My list was getting shorter and shorter and I hadn't even  had a chance to  ask the Big Question; the vax question.
  Finally I found an office  just a few miles north of us, actually in our town, and a human being  answered the phone.  She said that yes, they were accepting new patients. Now came the moment. I had tried to figure out how to phrase this question so that I was clear, but not so clear that someone felt the need to call the authorities on me.  I said " Do you have an office policy regarding vaccinations?"  There was a pause, and she said "I'm not sure I  understand what you mean."
  So much for subtle. I said "I want the choice to decide which vaccinations my children will or will not take.  Does your office honor those choices?" Another pause and she said " Why wouldn't we?".
  Hmmm, good question. "Well, ma'am, some people won't see your family unless all the government mandated shots are given." She made a sound  that sounded like genuine surprise and said "Well we don't do that, and we wouldn't do that. Now we will notate that you declined the shots, but goodness, no, why would we force you to get shots?"
  I ran up to the office which is  literally 4 miles from my front door, and gathered up the necessary paperwork for 6 new patients.  The office  is a bright, cheery place and the receptionists don't hide behind frosted glass, which has always been a pet peeve of mine. All seems to be well. I guess time will tell, but it looks like we're back in business.

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