Medical School

Have you ever wondered what doctor’s learn in medical school? It’s fascinating what people think medical school is like. It’s either a serious place where we all do work or filled with drunken party animal medical students… It’s a bit of both really.

However the one that got me laughing was this.

Two of the more amusing things I have noticed about the anti-vaccine movement is the notion that immunity has nothing to do with vaccination and doctors should not be involved in the healthcare process. Which is akin to saying that NASA shouldn’t hire any physicists. Big gravity is big business after all. I will also point out that the article is written by Jennifer Hutchinson. Who would rather risk near certain death (the Miluwaukee protocol has saved around 30 lives of which only 3 are not brain damaged) from rabies (it’s not 100% fatal but it is above 99.99% fatal unless you are part of this south american tribe… Basically. It’s fatal).

Do you ever wonder what doctors know about the dozens of vaccines they inject into your children? What they learn in medical school about vaccines? And after they graduate? Who controls what they are taught? My research has been quite an eye-opener.

We know how immunity works and how vaccines function. We learn about the effects of various diseases and we can understand the difference between incidence of disease and mortality rates and understand that vaccines don’t reduce mortality rate but reduce incidence of diseases. We know that our syllabus is dictated by a government licensing board of doctors. In the UK it’s the GMC (General Medical Council) in the USA it’s the American Medical Association. These are boards run by doctors that act as accreditation where they give a doctor a license to heal and enforce a code of conduct that everyone has to adhere to. It’s not a mysterious entity, there are actual offices you can walk into and we put our information online regularly.

First question: What do doctors actually learn in medical school about vaccines? Here’s what several have to say.

Actually we learn about vaccine function in biochemistry and physiology. We learn about schedules in Public Health/Social and Preventative Medicine. We learn about the various diseases in Medicine and Paediatrics.

We learn that vaccines need to be given on schedule. We are indoctrinated with the mantra that ‘vaccines are safe and effective’—neither of which is true. Doctors today are given extensive training on how to talk to ‘hesitant’ parents—how to frighten them by vastly inflating the risks during natural infection. …on the necessity of twisting parents’ arms to conform, or fire them from their practices. Doctors are trained that NOTHING bad should be said about any vaccine, period.”

Which is amusing since every vaccine we have learnt about has a list of things which you have to look out for. And this is a quote from Dr. Suzanne Humphries.

I was never taught how to talk to hesitant patients. India has vaccine preventable diseases. It’s obvious that kids vaccinated against Rotavirus don’t die as much as kids who aren’t. It’s obvious that polio vaccinated kids don’t get polio. It’s obvious that measles vaccinated kids are more likely to live. People can see it for themselves. So they get vaccinated because they actively fear these diseases.

I don’t know what planet Humphries lives on but Diptheria, Tetanus, Tuberculosis, Polio, Pneumonia, Meningitis and the like are all terrifying diseases. Diptheria’s name is the Strangling Angel, that’s not a happy name. If your statement is “they are scaremongering about diseases” then our response is “you are not telling the truth and are scaremongering about vaccines”. Ultimately the big loser is not Humphries but the kids who die from vaccine preventable diseases. The myriad of so called side effects of vaccination are solely created by individuals such as Humphries to flog her bullshit for money.

Doctors learn a lot about diseases in medical school, but we learn very little about vaccines. … We don’t review the research ourselves. We never learn what goes into making vaccines or how their safety is studied. So, when patients want a little more information about shots, all we can really say as doctors is that the diseases are bad and the shots are good.”

Except I have mentioned five different subjects where I have learnt about vaccines. Maybe Dr. Bob from who this quote is from wasn’t paying attention in class. (Or Maybe He is a Big Fat Liar). Everything from how normal physiology works to the biochemistry to the method of vaccination. Oh I forgot there should be another subject as I studied Microbiology. That’s a total of 6 different subjects which mention vaccination and how it functions.

“I was taught that vaccines were completely safe and completely effective. But I kept seeing that my experience … in using and reading about vaccines, and hearing what parents were saying about vaccines were very different from what I was taught … When I look at the studies that the AAP and the CDC put out, saying that there’s no correlation between vaccination and autism or vaccinations and asthma, I have to say that the studies just don’t hold up to the scientific standards.”

So apparently the good Doctor Larry Palevsky didn’t learn anything about bias. That if you collect only side effects you get a biased view of how the system works. It’s like saying that you won’t use cars because you only talked to people whose children died in car accidents. The entire point of “a study” is to try and eliminate confirmation bias. If the statistical analysis of data shows that there is no link then the correct scientific standard is to reject the thing that was demonstrated to be wrong not reject the demonstration.

Next question: Who controls what doctors are taught? The pharmaceutical industry. How? Big Pharma provides hefty contributions to medical schools and teaching hospitals, advertises in medical journals, and funds the majority of research.

Every doctor in pharmacology is taught to use generic names. Every pharmacological textbook uses generic names unless a drug is under patent. So when we prescribe a drug we say Rx pharmaceutical name and the pharmacy that you take the drug to will match the drug they have in stock to the prescription. And no, most of us pay fees to be educated and the government spends tax payer money. There is no “big pharma” donation to medical education and in fact pharmaceutical representatives are routinely banned from talking to students in many parts of the world. In fact the biggest thing a drug rep can buy you is a sandwich or a meal and you know what? I don’t see any of these people condemning the million dollar hand out Andrew Wakefield recieved from people who were about to sue the MMR manufacturers in a class action lawsuit. What? Sandwiches and stationary are considered Big Pharma Bribery but half a million quid is not quack bribery?

Medical Journals routinely carry drug advertising but also there are independant drug testing bodies whose job it is to ensure veracity of drug tests. Everytime a drug gets pulled it’s not due to the actions of anti-vax or the quacks. It’s due to the action of big pharma train
ed doctors and scientists who work for independant drug testing bodies such as the NHS and FDA. Oh and the majority of research into drugs would be done by drug companies in the same way that the majority of research into space is done by NASA and other space agencies.

“If drug companies and medical educators were really providing education, doctors and academic institutions would pay them for their services. When you take piano lessons, you pay the teacher, not the other way around. But in this case, industry pays the academic institutions and faculty, and even the doctors who take the courses. The companies are simply buying access to medical school faculty and to doctors in training and practice.”

At no point have I ever seen a drug company approach me or any of my peers for us to flog their drug. I was taught generic names and I use generic names. In fact if patients ask for a name we are told to prescribe the CHEAPEST drug they can use. And in many cases the drugs they are given are free. And in most sane countries the medical service pays drug companies FOR drugs. In the USA because of a privatised medical system there is a hazy line where hospitals support certain drugs and the people who pay for your drugs are a third party. This argument is more to do with the idiocy of american medical systems rather than medicine.

The ultimate irony of the anti-vax stance is that it makes money for pharmaceutical companies. Vaccines don’t drop the mortality rate but the incidence of disease. More disease means more profit.

I’ve also wondered how doctors learn about new vaccines. After all, more are being developed all the time. It must be difficult for medical professionals to keep up with all those shots. Fortunately, Big Pharma makes substantial contributions to the billions of dollars spent on CME (Continuing Medical Education) each year. There are courses available in various formats, from webcasts and NetConferences to DVDs and onsite training. Their purpose? To teach doctors how to increase vaccination rates.

Most first world nations had 95 to 98% vaccination rates. Those who were unvaccinated were either really young or couldn’t be vaccinated for other reasons. It’s not so much as increasing rates as much as maintaining them. However anti-vax are setting out to reduce rates which means we have to respond with methods of increasing rates solely to ensure that the herd immunity doesn’t fall harming those who cannot be vaccinated.

And most CME’s are run by hospitals. It’s basically asking someone to come and speak about something they are good at. This article thinks money from CME’s makes its way into a doctor’s pocket rather than into the hospital’s. At best the doctors get pens, bags, markers and prescription pads. And that has been stopped as a practice. The best they get is “Lunch”. Listen, you could take me to the Fat Duck or to Gordon Ramsey’s for lunch but I am still going to prescribe only if someone can show me empirical proof that your drug or methodology is better than the existing. I have had a meal at a CME, it consisted of a cheese and ham sandwich and a chocolate bar. It probably cost them £2 if they bought it at Tesco. It probably cost them a quid to make. 

The CDC has online classes like “Immunization: You Call the Shots.” [6] And the CDC’s ACIP provides an online version of SHOTS, the current immunization schedule. [7]

Because heaven forbid that the Centre for Disease Control actually tried to control the incidence of a disease. 

The AAP offers the EQIPP (Education in Quality Improvement for Pediatric Practice) “Give Your Immunization Rates a Shot in the Arm” course. [8] Another AAP tool is the CASE model. [9] I have to preface this one by saying that anybody who knows me knows I am rarely speechless. But I was completely flabbergasted when I watched two videos designed to help doctors communicate with parents who have concerns about vaccines. I suggest that you watch both (“Do Vaccines Cause Autism?” and “Are There Too Many Vaccines?”). Just trust me when I say there is nothing I can say to prepare you for what you will see and hear.

I think the problem here is the delusion that autism is caused by vaccines (they aren’t) and so anything we say to the contrary is part of a big pharma plot to cause autism and destroy the planet by making everyone autistic. Teaching doctors to communicate with patients is vital to ensuring that herd immunity is maintained and that we don’t have to buy as many teeny coffins for patients whose parents thought that having a child gave them the same knowledge that a doctor has.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has created a curriculum to help doctors deal with the “immunization pushback” and to “combat pseudoscience.” To help them respond when parents say, “I was reading about vaccines online …” or, “I was watching this show about vaccines …” [10]

Yes. Because when a patient comes in claiming that they would rather trust a man who claims that water has a memory because it was banged against a leather clad board the immediate impulse is to call that man an idiot. Your second impulse is to call another doctor and maybe a few medical students along so that they can have a good laugh. However this is not conducive to proper practice. Education about quacks is important so you can recognise stupid people doing stupid things and insulate yourself from the inevitable stupidity backwash. If your HIV patient is told to give up his zidovudine by his faith healing group against everything you say then you atleast better be able to defend your drug vs his stupid. If he still wants to be stupid then he was informed and your duty as a doctor is done. You tried your level best to stop a patient from hurting himself but he being of sound body and mind made a bad decision. It’s not your fault. However to inform a patient you must know what stupid exists out there. I will point out that Suzanne Humphries up there is now a Homeopath (Apparently she regularly flogs homoepathic things while telling people she is against medicine despite still holding a proper medical practice).

A survey of pediatricians showed that 72.9 percent of parents refuse vaccines because they are afraid they cause autism, 61.5 percent because they aren’t sure the vaccines are safe (they’re too new or haven’t been tested enough), and 59.7 percent because they feel children get too many during the first 2 years. (That’s what I call progress!) With this in mind, is it any wonder that the emphasis on vaccine education for doctors is how to handle “vaccine-hesitant” parents?

Funny, apparently 1 in 10 parents are anti-vax or delay vaccinations. Not 72.9%. Okay I am being silly, I know what she means. She means that amongst the parents who refuse vaccination. 72.9% think they cause autism (if 72.9% of people think that the earth is flat it means that they are wrong. What a lay man thinks doesn’t change the reality of the situation). 61.5% of parents don’t know how vaccines are tested. 59.7 percent think 11 vaccines (That’s in the USA there are 11 multidose vaccines.) are too much. This isn’t 72% of parents, this is 72% of 10%. (AKA 7% of parents). Shoddy statistics. The 1 in 10 statistic is gained from a variety of sources ranging from Time Magazine to the Independant on ratio of parents who vaccinate to those who don’t. 1 in 10 may sound like little but before it was around about 1 in 20. The number of non-vaccinators has doubled which has increased the spread of disease by more than double (remember the weaker the herd immunity the
more likely the disease is to spread).

Concern: Parents who think vaccines cause autism
Response: There is no scientific evidence showing a link between vaccines and autism. Children’s immune systems can handle the vaccines.

Both responses are true. In addition we should point out that the doctor who made the claim recieved money from a class action autism lawsuit to the tune of a million dollars (half a million pounds) and he personally changed files written by others to falsify information including making claims that the MMR vaccine caused autism in a child 3 months before the vaccine. He also purposefully misdiagnosed a case of genetic epilepsy as autism in order to make the idea of vaccine damage a lot more severe. The childs’ behaviour was linked to the constipation brought on by anti-spasmodic medication to control his seizures rather than “autism”. In short the entire claim is based on a lie and perpetuating the lie was done at the cost of autistic kids who were exposed to repeated spinal taps and colonoscopies for no reason apart from making Wakefield a million dollars.

Your childs’ immune system can handle it. We face off millions of bacteria every hour. A few more won’t even faze us.

Concern: Parents who believe the vaccine schedule is a “money-fueled conspiracy”
Response: Doctors and public health officials support the schedule. Ask, “Do you really think I would recommend something that I didn’t think was best for your child?”

Have you ever considered that there is a conspiracy to lie to you to not vaccinate your child because mortuaries, undertakers and crematoriums aren’t selling as many teeny tiny coffins as they used to? I mean many of them are kind of cute. You can get them in pink, blue and fire engine red. Awfully big business death.

And if you think there is a big pharma conspiracy then you are highly delusional. Vaccination works. This isn’t up for debate. The drop of mortality in the 60s from 8 million to the current 1 million in measles is solely due to the Measles Vaccine (Mortality rates in Africa and India have slowly dropped but are still high, incidence however has fallen), the extinction of smallpox and the fall of Polio. If you think otherwise then no amount of reality will change your mind.

Concern: The source of vaccine-hesitant parents’ information
Response: Ask why they’re “taking medical advice from a celebrity, friend, relative, or magazine instead of from their child’s doctor.” Credible, scientific information comes from “reliable/stable groups” such as the AAP, NIH, and WHO. It’s not anecdotal, and nothing is being sold, such as a book, which would indicate a conflict of interest.

Yes. Why. I mean it’s pretty sensible. It’s like saying that you are refusing to wear a seatbelt not because of scientific information but because Ke$ha told you to. (Note, Ke$ha is not telling you to not wear a seatbelt… this is an example). Your source of information is vital and frankly every source that antivax bring up tend to be unreliable, biased, delusional and plain outright idiotic.

Concern: Parents who want to follow an alternate schedule
Response: Unvaccinated children can get sick and make other kids sick. Delaying shots delays protection. Ask, “You don’t delay putting your baby in a car seat. Why do you want to delay protection from vaccines?”

Which is reduced protection for your children. It’s perfectly sensible to ask what logic is driving their decision. Usually it’s “there are too many vaccines and my child cries” to which the answer is “yes but a little prick is a little pain while disease is a lot”. Also many extended or alternative schedules offer lower protection.

Concern: Serious side effects
Response: Serious side effects are extremely rare (1 in 100,000 children). Say, “Billions of people have received some vaccines. If they clearly caused a significant side effect, we would know about it.”

Yes, there are more children with cystic fibrosis than who are allergic to vaccines. Literally your genes are more deadly to children than vaccines. Cars are more deadly than vaccines. And yes, if there was a massive side effect common to billions of people across the globe we would know about it. 

Concern: The purpose and safety of vaccine ingredients
Response: Each ingredient serves a purpose and is necessary. There is “no known toxicity” to any of them.

In the concentrations present by the way given. Otherwise I can kill you with 5 ml of air. The same stuff you breathe and need to breathe to survive… 

With all the “continuing education” doctors and pharmacists are bombarded with, it’s amazing what they don’t know about vaccines.

What Suzanne means is “why won’t doctors listen to my stupid ideas!” and “I gave birth! Don’t you know that this means my points are as valid as your years of training even if I don’t know my coccyx from my olecranon.

From recent news stories, it’s clear that vaccines are being stored improperly. That expired vaccines are being used. And the latest? Reusing syringes. The Safe Injection Practices Coalition’s One & Only Campaign states that in the last decade, more than 130,000 patients in the U.S. have been notified of “potential exposure” to hep B, hep C, and HIV. The One & Only Campaign’s slogan, by the way, is “One Needle, One Syringe, Only One Time.” Doctors actually have to be taught this? [14]

Actually there are a variety of other reasons. Usually it’s accidents. A patient may collapse onto needle bins. Plenty of junkies try and use any drug they can get their hands on. Oh and my personal favourite, many people who donate blood don’t tell the whole truth. Other places where needle reuse is common is in the hands of various quacks. So while a few of those 130,000 may be real cases of negligence a lot of them are just plain accidents.We do have needle safety and syringes are thrown out. Portraying this as an actual plan common to all doctors is highly imbecilling fearmongering at it’s finest. Doctors “Actually” know about this, however many hospital staff MAY NOT. And this is involving all usages of needles. There are 40 million inpatient visits to the hospital in the USA every year. In ten years that’s 400 million. Nearly every inpatient visit will result in the usage of an injection. 13,000/40,000,000 = 0.03% chance of not being accidentally stuck by a needle. Oh and it’s not 40 million usages of a needle. Many of these patients repeatedly need dosing with drugs via injection so it’s more than 40 million uses. I am simply saying that the bare MINIMUM number of injections in the USA per year is 40,000,000. It’s probably less than 0.03%. And again I must point out that this includes everyone who is allowed to give an injection INCLUDING alternative medicine (Ah!)

I bet few people have seen this story on the news. It’s not like the media has been all over it. Something as dangerous and negligent as reusing syringes and infecting people with life-threatening diseases. The irony of it is, I didn’t find out about it until I was researching what doctors know about vaccines.

Amusing how hepatitis is suddenly life threatening now, not when you want to vaccinate.  But again this has nothing to do with vaccination and everything to do with ne
edle stick injury. And Jennifer’s  research into vaccination and doctors is as demonstrated hilariously bad since she just asked a bunch of anti-vax quacks what they think (Seriously? Suzanne Humphries believes in bullshit and she still is considered a doctor). Not one person here isn’t shilling for anti-vax. Hell she could just contact any doctor and get a proper response rather than this.

In addition to these recent “errors,” I bet most doctors can’t name the ingredients and amounts in each vaccine. Or the risks and side effects (other than mild fever and redness at the injection site). Do they even know that some vaccines still contain mercury—more than the amount recommended in the EPA safety guidelines?

I bet that no anti-vax can tell me correctly how the immune system functions. Those that try either get it hilariously wrong or are purposefully vague about the specific or acquired immune system because then it involves a discussion about mechanisms and then they have to admit that vaccines work but they don’t want to have them because of stupidity.

Also? It’s just the flu vaccine that contains thiomersal which is ethylmercury not methylmercury which is a completely different chemical in the same way that that ethanol is delicious in beer but methanol is deadly. If thiomersal is mercury then common salt is sodium metal and chloride gas and therefore either going to burn a hole in your mouth or destroy your lungs.

Another thing doctors don’t know anything about—or they know but deliberately give false information when parents ask—is vaccine exemptions. Many doctors tell parents their kids can’t go to school without vaccines. Not true.

Not unless you claim a religious excemption. Which can come back to bite you. Basically it’s saying that you follow the teachings of superstitious people from 2000 years ago and don’t want to use vaccines but are perfectly happy to use cars and internet. Apparently those aren’t an affront to superstitious people from the past but stopping disease is. Your actual statement of fact is either “you think like someone who was wrong 2000 or so years ago” (Listen, Jews don’t have any religious exemption from vaccines that I know off and Hindus INVENTED vaccine’s predecessor so it’s pretty much Christians and Muslims who don’t vaccinate for religious reasons). No the Hindus didn’t know the mechanism of the disease, they just noticed that smallpox is less severe in those who catch the disease from transmission of pus rather than aerial transmission. It was an acute observation without underlying mechanism.

Do you think doctors read any of the studies that show a definite link between vaccines and autism? Studies like Dr. Wakefield’s and the subsequent ones that replicated his findings? I doubt it. They’re too busy reading articles published in journals like Pediatrics and written by pharmaceutical company board members. 

I don’t need to say anything else.  No study has replicated his findings. That’s why people looked into his work. He basically made a study. Idiot Journalists Ran with it. Doctors across the world smelt a rat and did the same tests as he did and found bugger all. They then went through his work and found out that Wakefield LIED TO MAKE MONEY. That’s the very definition of a shill. This argument is like saying “Of Course You will believe in Evolution if you read biology! You should read stuff from the Institute of Creation Research and Discovery Institute!”. And pharmaceutical company board members don’t write articles. That’s patently stupid. Look if you are going to make bullshit up, make it believable. It’s like saying that the CEO of Microsoft is out there personally coding for Windows 8. Or that the Board of Directors of McDonalds are out flipping burgers.

You can sum up in one word what doctors, pharmacists, and others are taught about vaccines. Propaganda. They learn what Big Pharma wants them to learn, and they help line Big Pharma’s pockets—and destroy lives in the process. “[Pharmaceutical companies] have proven themselves to be completely untrustworthy based on past behavior. In a court of law, if such a company were an actual witness, an attorney would never put them on the stand due to a serious lack of credibility. Are you really going to take these companies at their word that these shots are safe when money and profits are impacted by their answer?”

No we don’t. We learn what reality is. We learn how you function. What the various parts of you are. What causes disease and how to treat it. We have saved billions of lives since the advent of modern medicine. We will keep saving lives. Vaccines have saved millions of lives every single year and the best anti-vax can do is make grandiose claims about shady conspiracies. Why? Because they have to validate a world view where there is someone to blame for their misfortunes.

If pharmaceutical companies are all untrustworthy because of their behaviour, what does that make alternative medicine companies? Flogging quackery that is no better than the placebo at exorbitant mark ups? There is Absolutely No Regulation of the alternative medical industry. In fact the levels of regulation within the alt. medicine industry are frankly homeopathic. If they were subject to the same regulation as the average doctor they would not be able to sell any of their bullshit.

The MMR costs $3 out here. The medication for Measles costs $15. A funeral costs $50.


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