In praise of pediatricians

27 Feb

Caught in the crossfire of the autism/vaccine debate are the pediatricians. Often the discussion of vaccines and autism devolves into insinuating that pediatricians all know about vaccines causing autism, but they make most of their much money from vaccines.

It is a disgusting lie, and one so transparent.

Maybe I have the only good pediatrician in the free world. Who knows, it could be true. But that guy has stayed with us and our kid at the hospital until midnight, stayed on the phone with the nurses until 2am, and then showed up again a 8am to review the lab tests from the previous day. On another occasion, that guy woke up every two hours through the night to check in with nurses to monitor the lab results and adjust the treatment.

It is very clear when we are in the waiting room of his office that most people there are not there for their kids vaccines. How anyone can say that pediatricians make most of their money from vaccines is beyond me. It is just so plainly, clearly a lie.

Maybe I have the only good pediatrician in the world. I kinda doubt it.

Here’s to pediatricians. They are good people fighting the good fight.

13 Responses to “In praise of pediatricians”

  1. storkdok February 27, 2010 at 01:09 #

    Sullivan, no one goes into pediatrics for money. It is one of the lower paying areas in medicine. When I was practicing, we lost money by giving vaccinations. The reimbursement to an office is much less than what it cost us, then there is the cost of giving the vaccination, which is not reimbursed. As reimbursement costs declined, we had to stop supplying them directly from our OB office. We wrote scripts for them and then had the patients bring them in and administered it for free.

    I know a lot of wonderful pediatricians. None of them get rich. Long hours in the hospital. I know, we often saw each other in the middle of the night.

  2. Kent Adams February 27, 2010 at 02:09 #

    My pediatrician told me to put my child in an institution and most peds know very little about autism. There are some good ones out there but for the most part, they know little about autism and even less as an association on how to promote a positive agenda for autistic people.

    Why has this blog devolved into one that seems more like an AAP type of mouth piece. If its not all Wakefield all the time, its this silly crap.

    • Sullivan February 27, 2010 at 02:13 #

      Kent Adams,

      somehow I figured you to comment on the JRC investigation post. Did that not interest you?

  3. Squillo February 27, 2010 at 02:12 #

    I know a lot of physicians–some I’d consider very good, some not-so (from a patient/layman’s perspective). There are very few–including the not-so-good–who I would guess are in it for the money. There are far, far easier ways to make big bucks. (Besides, if you work out physicians’ salaries on an hourly basis, most of ’em make less than I do.)

    Some of the opprobrium no doubt stems from the fact that pediatricians are often considered to have “missed” an autism diagnosis. I believe it has also been documented that patients with chronic, incurable conditions are often the least satisfied with their medical providers, for understandable reasons. I’m sure it seems to some parents that their pediatricians have nothing to offer in terms of treatment for autism, and from there it’s easy to make the leap to “they just don’t care” or even “they want our kids to have autism so they can make money.” Then there’s the contrast with DAN! docs and other woo-peddlers, who seem to have all the time in the world to spend (on your dime) and who may seem to really listen to parents’ opinions. It’s tough for an ordinary, evidence-based and captiated/insurance-fettered pediatrician to compete.

  4. Kent Adams February 27, 2010 at 02:19 #

    Sorry, I missed that one. I was out for a day. It wasn’t on here long enough for me to notice. Was this a token article (short description with a link)?

    • Sullivan February 27, 2010 at 02:28 #

      Kent Adams,

      If you check the main page for this blog, you will see three articles on the JRC story. The first is the complaint letter and, from what I can tell, the first public statement that the investigation had commenced. The second notes that another site ( picked up my piece and added text from the JRC’s own website to modify the story. The third is a post about the news stories that have picked up on the investigation.

      My recollection was that this is a subject you are quite interested in. I will admit I was hoping for your input in the comments as you follow this story closer than I have.

  5. Kent Adams February 27, 2010 at 02:36 #

    Sorry I missed it. I’ll check it out.

  6. Kent Adams February 27, 2010 at 03:05 #

    The recent additions to the JRC website on the front page sicken me, especially considering that they are used to confuse folks who don’t know or understand that these rooms are never accessed by LFA nor would they be good for LFA for the most part. How many millions were spent on these rooms when they aren’t willing to pay proper wages for properly educated staff. Salaries range from $10-$15/hr. A caring an educated staff is far more important to these students lives than having a picture of Daffy Duck or the “yellow brick” road. Pure sickness and evilness is in the mind of Matthew Israel.

    • Sullivan February 27, 2010 at 03:15 #

      $10-15/hour? That’s what a quarter million dollars a year per kid gets?

      I mention it in the blog, but there is a story about how they called a number of people “psychologists” or something when they had no credentials. My guess is that those people may have been paid higher.

  7. Ali February 27, 2010 at 05:35 #

    Sullivan, the peds acute psych hospital where I work is the only public hospital in my state for kids. It costs over $1000/day to stay here. They pay the direct care staff, we who work with the kids 24/7, $11/hour.

  8. Chris February 27, 2010 at 08:59 #

    We have a family doctor. He is part of a family practice with several other doctors. One of those doctors was at the hospital when my son had his first seizures, she explained clearly what the issues of seizures would be. If we call with an issue, we can get an appointment on the same day (and have even had a medical issue dealt with in another state at the wee hours of the morning!).

    My family doctor got us a good referral to an initial neurologist, and then to a specialist neurologist (and hints on how to get seen earlier).

    During the times my son was hospitalized with croup and more seizures he called at both the hospital and our house to get updates and to assure us with information he had received. At the multiple times our son has been admitted to the local children’s hospital, their system was able to connect our family doctor’s call to us. It was always surreal to be sitting in a children’s hospital lounge decorated with fuzzy animals talking to the family doctor on an obscurely located phone down the hall from your child who is in a special bed connected to several monitors.

  9. farmwifetwo February 27, 2010 at 15:34 #


    Before the last Prov election the group home/Comm Living workers went on strike. They only settled b/c the election was a week away. The Prov had them out for weeks before that.

    What do they make not enough. And as you know… at the end of the day you get what you pay for.

    I know the respite workers get pd $10.00/hr. Now with the jump in minimum wage to $10.25 in Mar…. I hate to tell you… they don’t get $12 or so to keep up.

  10. David N. Brown February 28, 2010 at 06:08 #

    “When I was practicing, we lost money by giving vaccinations.”
    The AAP did a press release several years ago reporting this as a common complaint.
    GR seems to get “pediatricians make most of their money off vaccines” out of the fact that the AAP receives donations from vaccine manufacturers. Never mind that a) these companies make most of their sales on other products, b) most donors don’t make vaccines and c) AAP does not pay its members, THEY PAY TO BE ITS MEMBERS.
    As I am constantly pointing out, the groundless suspicion that vaccines are highly profitable distracts from what I consider more fundamental and potentially serious problems rising from the fact that governments are the main customers for vaccines.

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