Originally Posted by Deborah
Since this is the vaccine forum, I'll ask this:
What did you learn about vaccines in your medical courses? How much time did you spend on the topic?
To answer your question, we spent a significant amount of time in the lecture component of my pre-clinical years of medical school covering vaccines. We had a longitudinal pediatrics course that ran through all of my second year, and immunizations were a large part of that. We would also cover relevant vaccination topics when they pertained to the 'system' we were covering at the time - i.e., during the gastrointestinal system module, we covered the Hep B and rotavirus vaccines, for example.
It is hard to put a time value on our vaccination education. My school didn't break down the curriculum into hours, so I couldn't really tell you.
One anecdote that I remember very well was a lecture that the university chair of pediatrics gave our class. She told us about her residency training back in the late 70's. In the winter, the hospital pediatrics wards would be overflowing with kids sick with bacteremia, meningitis, and pneumonia from Haemophilus influenzae
. Unfortunately, a high number of kids died from this. Of course, most of you know that the Hib vaccine was introduced in the US around 1990. What is so striking about this is that to me, as a fresh doc about to enter residency in 2008, H. flu is little more than a historical footnote. What defined a large part of her training, and led to countless admissions to the hospital, ER visits, antibiotic regimens, and significant morbidity and mortality, is to me just another box to check on the well-child checkup. (I try very hard not to take that fact for granted) I think the last paper I read cited a 99% decrease in the rate of invasive Hib disease.
I think that kind of story illustrates why the vast majority of medical students (including myself) are very pro-vaccination - we get the benefit of the knowledge of the old-time docs who buried too many kids with diseases that are covered by vaccines now.
PS - Want to know my opinion of what kind of illness will "define" my training? Check out this article:http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/16/he...infect.html?hp