I got the strangest phone call today…a father called the office looking to get his kids vaccinated for school, as well as school physicals for an after-school athletic program. My understandably baffled receptionist handed me the phone, not knowing where to begin with this person! I got clarification that he was told his children couldn’t start school on Monday without getting vaccinated, so he was urgently seeking vaccination today. And he somehow called our office…?

I informed him that we do not offer vaccinations, and he asked if I could refer him to an office that does. I explained that I had no particular referral to offer, and that most of the parents in our practice actually do not vaccinate their children. I told him that if he wanted any more information that we could direct him to the National Vaccine Information Center. He then went off on an extended detailing of his experience with being vaccinated as part of his military service, and the negative reactions he experienced, and his strong inclination to never vaccinate his children on philosophical grounds against that chemical approach. He also expressed that he never knew it was even an option to decline vaccination. I assured him that it is within his legal rights to decline vaccines, and his children can still attend public school, and directed him to inquire at the school for details on exemption procedures. He was extremely grateful, and moved on to the subject of school physicals.

I told him I would be happy to conduct a physical exam, and extended the option to actually do a full new patient examination in the possible case that he wanted us to care for his children’s health beyond a simple physical exam. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to discuss a more holistic, supportive approach to his children’s healthcare and excitedly explained his aversion to pharmaceutical interventions as a first approach. I used fever as an example of something that is frequently over-medicated, when it is in fact part of a normal immune response. He enthusiastically said “Yes, exactly!” and went on to explain that he rarely visits the doctor himself. I explained that I agree that medical interventions are appropriate only after less invasive approaches are exhausted, and that it is still important to have a doctor monitoring one’s health to make sure it is functioning at 100%. I explained that we honor the body’s innate capacity for self-healing and self-regulation…when it has everything is needs and nothing getting in the way. I explained that in our office, we support parents in ensuring that their child’s body is balanced and able to function optimally.

He said “Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me! You sound like exactly the kind of doctor I want to take care of my children.”

He enthusiastically scheduled new patient exams for his children this afternoon.

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