A recent study showed that pediatricians and family practice doctors are frequently failing to advise their pediatric patients to obtain important vaccinations against a number of preventable diseases. Sadly, the study shows that the young patients and their parents would readily agree to the vaccine, if only they are told. You can read more here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22265117?dopt=Abstract.
An important duty of primary care physicians is to engage in preventative health maintenance. This begins with recommending and reminding patients to schedule routine annual physical exams. At the physical exams, physicians should advise pediatric patients and their families about these important routine vaccines. Even young patients who only go to the doctor when they are sick are entitled to recommendations about vaccinations. Often these patients will skip “well patient” visits due to lack of insurance or lack of information about the importance of preventative care. But in medicine, like nowhere else, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
When a primary care physician skips this important duty, children and adolescents are subject to several serious preventable diseases. This is another form of medical negligence. As the article points out, the patients are willing if only the doctors would take the time. Neglecting this important information puts our children in harm’s way.