In addition to my role as a Licensed Naturopathic Physician, I am also a former pediatric nurse, and a father. Even before I became a father, as a pediatric hospital RN administering vaccinations to newborns and older children, I was very conflicted about the CDC vaccination schedule. Later, while in medical school, I devoted a large part of my education to an in-depth study of vaccinations and the diseases that they are intended to prevent.
Based on my research and years of clinical experience, and at the request of many of my clients, I have developed a 1 1/2 hour consultation that I now offer parents who are curious, concerned, or just plain confused about the standard pediatric vaccination schedule.
Here is what the pre-appointment and appointment look like:
1. I will provide you with a comprehensive intake form to fill out and return a week prior to your appointment in order to save you the time and money of a separate appointment to collect family health history.
2. At your appointment, we will discuss your child’s individual risk factors as they relate to communicable diseases and to receiving vaccines. If children in the same family have no significant personal medical problems, their recommendations can be discussed during the same consultation for no additional cost.
3. At the end of the appointment, or shortly after the appointment is over, I will present your family with my recommendations for a customized vaccination plan which takes your child’s individual and specific needs into consideration.
4. As an added patient-education service, and if there is time and interest before the end of your appointment, I can walk you through the medical science behind each vaccine and the disease for which each is intended, and we can discuss concerns about each disease as well as concerns about each vaccine. If there is no additional time for this optional educational piece at the end of your appointment, we can schedule additional follow-up time for it.
5. If your child’s medical history or circumstances change, you can schedule a follow-up consultation with me which might be shorter in duration based on the individual needs of your child.
Throughout this process, we will base all recommendations and information on science and literature, and will avoid any dogmatic view in favor of or in opposition to vaccinations. The recommendations that I provide, along with the education you take away from our consultation, can be brought to your pediatrician for further consideration and can strengthen your confidence in your decision to advocate for your child and his or her specific needs.