This post has been years in the making. The topic of vaccination often takes an emotional turn which I feel is unfortunate. I have spent the past 10+ years researching, thinking about and discussing this topic. I have come to a a place where I feel I can respectfully guide the conversation from an educated stance. I hope my words here will resonate with you. If you are left with questions or concerns after reading this post please get in touch with me. I am more than willing to guide you to resources for further learning and investigation.
As a Developmental Optometrist I take pride in my ability to be an investigator. Many of the people I see have been seen by other practitioners and have been given a clean bill of “health”, even though they have significant symptoms persisting. I consider it my job to listen to my patients and help them come up with a plan that helps address their symptoms, therefore improving their lives. I have developed a confidence with trusting my instincts with patient care and have had great success in helping people when I think beyond where other practitioners have thought. I often comment that every patient I work with reveals an opportunity for me to change and adapt my strategies. My mind is in constant motion with developing ways to best work with the person I have in front of me.
My instincts to be an investigator have allowed me to continually educate myself in order to make recommendations and decisions for my patients from a place of deep understanding. Many of my patients comment that the conversations I guide them into have been life changing. They respect my willingness to address areas that they may have been over looking. I find that when I address difficult topics from an educated stance with a genuine respect for my patients I, and my patients, are never disappointed. I do not make demands of my patients. I have worked to develop a communication style that provides information and asks people to become empowered to make decisions for themselves.
It is common for my patients to leave my office with recommendations for healthy lunches, homemade self care products and nontoxic household cleaners. These recommendations come out of conversations addressing the impacts of toxins in our environment on child development, brain development and learning. I have a library of books at my office for patients to look through and have trained my staff to be able to help them find the resources that will benefit them. My patients are thankful to have found a practitioner who is willing to help them address their lives from a holistic viewpoint.
Over the past several years many of my patients have asked my opinion on vaccinations. I am more than willing to have a conversation regarding vaccinations with my patients because I have taken it upon myself to spend hours researching the topic. I have read several books and countless studies, watched several documentaries on the topic and keep myself up to date and aware of the current issues surrounding the topic. I do not tell my patients what to think or what to do with regards to vaccination. I encourage my patients to think of vaccination as a significant medical decision that needs to be thoroughly understood before making the choice. I also encourage them to reflect on the difference between vaccination practices of 20-30 years ago and those of today. I provide them with resources and leave it them to make an informed decision. There are times when I state that I have not decided entirely what I think of vaccination practices, and this is very true. Everyday I gather new information and every day I think about my stance on this issue. The overwhelming conclusion I have come to everyday so far is that we still don’t have all the answers. Period. If a person feels they can make a medical decision based on the information they have, it is their right to do so. If a person feels it necessary to make a different medical decision based on the information they have, it is their right to do that. Blindly following government recommendations and mandates for medical care is a dangerous path. As a Developmental Optometrist, I am familiar with disagreeing with the opinions and perspective of some medical doctors. Weighing all aspects of a choice is often something I encourage my patients to do when placed in a position of choosing who’s recommendation to follow. The topic of vaccination is not different. All I can do is gather information, guide my patients in respectful conversation and empower them to make decisions.
In Health and Healing,