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Does Refusing a Vaccine Lead to Dismissal from a Pediatric Practice? A Study Takes a Shot at Answering This Question :

November 9, 2015

The past several years have shown more families actively refusing vaccines despite our best efforts to convince families otherwise. When this happens, we have been reading that some pediatricians and family physicians feel so strongly...

The past several years have shown more families actively refusing vaccines despite our best efforts to convince families otherwise. When this happens, we have been reading that some pediatricians and family physicians feel so strongly, they dismiss patients from their practice. So how often does this really happen?


O’Leary et al. (doi/10.1542/peds.2015-2086) share with us the results of a national survey of providers asked how often they dismiss families and what are the characteristics of those practices that do so in conjunction with state exemption policy and the degree of difficulty in getting a non-medical exemption. What is most eye-opening in this study is that one out of five pediatricians will dismiss a family from their practice if they refuse one or more vaccines—a far higher rate of dismissal than family physicians whose rate of dismissal is only 4%. So who are the dismissive pediatricians in terms of their demographic descriptors such as type of practice, geographic location, or state’s philosophical exemption law?

To learn more, roll up your sleeves and inject your attention into reading this study. Once you have, we would be interested to hear if you support a philosophy of patient dismissal for vaccine refusal or not? Share your thoughts with us by responding to this blog, sending us an e-letter or posting your response on our Facebook or Twitter sites.
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