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http://violentmetaphors.com/2014/11...bout-refuting-a-common-anti-vaccine-argument/

This was linked to me today and thought you guys might enjoy.

A Dr. responds to the common anti-vaccine claim that they only spend "a couple hours" or a day or two studying vaccines in medical school.

"So I thought about that and added up time I spent learning immunology and infectious disease in the First Two Years of medical school. Without even counting the related fields of physiology, the respiratory system, gastroenterology, histology, neurology, etc, I came up with 920 hours of graduate education in immunology, microbiology, and infectious disease – and that’s before ever hitting the wards in 3rd and 4th years.

And of course that doesn’t even count the time spent in training by Family Practice, Pediatrics, or Internal Medicine residents.

If we presume that my (rather average) medical school was representative, then most doctors spend ~ 920 hours in graduate education in this field before ever being allowed to sit for the Step I Board Exam and, if we passed it, allowed onto wards and into clinics.

And all of that is minuscule compared to the amount of education involved for biomedical researchers in the field who are the ones figuring out these principles. We doctors need to know how to understand and apply those principles, since we don’t have to derive the background information ourselves. A PhD in the field would have easily spent 70-80 hrs/week in class, labs, and reading, at least 45 weeks per year, for about 4 years.

That’s 75x45x4= 13,500 hours of graduate education, not including Bachelor’s or Master’s Degrees. For a researcher with 10 years experience, that’s a minimum of 13,500 + (2080 hrs/yr x 10 yrs) = 34,300 hours of education, training, experience.

Is either of those what A Concerned Mom meant by
“a frightenly small amount of time?”
 

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Wow! Numbers don't lie! All I can say is thank the good Lord that we live at a time and in a country where we can protect our children from these deadly diseases! Sadly the same can't be said for a big part of the world. I seriously don't understand anti-vaxxers. "A frighteningly small amount of time"?! I don't think so. How can the research that anti-vaxxers do ever compare to the in-depth study on so many levels that the real experts in the field put in? That's where my trust is, and I point to the numbers that confirm the efficacy of vaccination in the near zero death rates from diseases like smallpox and diphtheria that used to decimate the population. It's like the article on The Sandbox Kids website says: "there has always been a backlash to scientific advancements, in general, and to medical breakthroughs, in particular, but I’m astonished to see that in this day and age there are still those among us who, due to misinformation, not only risk their own children’s health, but encourage others to do so as well, by not vaccinating against these deadly diseases!" If you'd like to read the article and watch the video that goes with it, here's the link: http://thesandboxkids.com/vaccinate-its-the-right-thing-to-do/ Rock on, Doc!
 

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How can the research that anti-vaxxers do ever compare to the in-depth study on so many levels that the real experts in the field put in?
This is what exasperates me about vaccine debates (or other health care debates). The OP doesn't even include all of the education in the basic sciences (Chem, Bio, Physics, A&P, Micro) that is a prerequisite for medical education!

I see no reason why I should have to, when challenged, somehow distill all of my graduate education into a sound byte to "prove" to someone who has little or no education in the sciences, or healthcare, that the evidence shows what it shows.

I questioned vaccines 20 years ago and delayed them for my children. But I see differently now (and I'm better-educated, though some have accused me of being brainwashed). What annoys me most about the current flavor of the anti-vaccine movement is that debating efficacy, or clamoring about fears of "toxins", distracts from what I think is quite reasonable concern that a for-profit system needs better oversight. We will also now have to face the potential conflict between the traditionally American sense of individualism and the concept of public health.
 
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