Hope you're able to join me this week for Doctor Anonymous Show 155 where our guest with be author Dr. Lucy Hornstein who wrote the book, "Declarations Of A Dinosaur: 10 Laws I've Learned As A Family Doctor." As you may or may not know, I am also a family medicine physician. So this should be a good interview. In case you're not familiar with the 10 laws here they are:
You may know Dr. Hornstein better by her blog called "Musings Of A Dinosaur." Dr. Dino has no problem telling it like it is - even taking on me - really! In October 2009, during the height of the H1N1 panic, I wrote a post called "My Take On H1N1." A few days later, Dr. Dino wrote a post entitled, "More on H1N1 Flu; In Which I Call Dr. Anonymous onto the Carpet for Being a Wimp."Laws of the Dinosaur
First Law: The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature takes its course.
Second Law: It is impossible to make an asymptomatic patient feel better.
Third Law: The urgency of the test is inversely proportional to the IQ of the insurance company preauthorization clerk.
Fourth Law: There is no cure for stupid.
Fifth Law: Bad things really do happen to good people.
Sixth Law: The better the surgeon, the more reluctant s/he is to operate.
Part A: It has to be fun.
Part B: If it isn't fun, see Part A.
Eighth Law: Half of what is taught in medical school is wrong, but no one knows which half.
Ninth Law: Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
Tenth Law: A bad idea held by many people for a long time is still a bad idea.
Here's where I call WIMP*. Dr. A, you've just done an excellent job of explaining that the risks of vaccination are downright trivial, compared to the documented substantial risk of pandemic H1N1 influenza, especially to children. Why wuss out now and call on the patient to make the final determination of the balance of risk vs. benefit? You've just laid it all out for them. You need to take a stand and say that vaccination is the responsible course of action.Now, before you thought I got all upset about this, think again. I really encourage you to read over the comment sections of both of these posts. I think both of these posts really encapsulates the discussion that was going on at the height of the H1N1 hype (at least in this part of the country). Now, on balance, Dr. Dino has also given me a good share of props, including in the post called "New Look" (although she did call me an "oxymoron" hehe)
Patients are looking for our recommendations. When the issue is this clear cut -- and make no mistake, despite the pseudoscientific fear mongerers lurking around every corner, this is indeed one of the most straightforward decisions our patients are called upon to make -- we do them a disservice by wimping out and calling it a "personal decision".
Edited to add: Every patient has the right to make "personal decisions" about whether or not to follow the doctors' recommendations. It is still our responsibility to come out and make those recommendations.
Man up, Dude.
So, I encourage you to join me on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 9pm Eastern Time for Doctor Anonymous Show 155 on BlogTalkRadio. Don't forget to become a Facebook Fan of my show and to check out my iTunes page. Hope you're having a great week!