HARRISBURG—Ms. Rue D’Patient was entering the 6th minute of her phone call to a close friend. She was sitting in the office of Dr. Sunshine, her son’s mild-mannered pediatrician, who was taking a few extra minutes at the end of the long work day to explain to her why he thought it was important that her son receive the influenza vaccination.
She had already told Dr. Sunshine that she refused the vaccine because, “It gives my kids the flu,” but Dr. Sunshine thought it was important to educate her that the vaccine doesn’t cause flu and that her asthmatic son would benefit from it.
“Hang on, I gotta put you on hold,” Ms. D’Patient said to her friend on the phone, “The doctor won’t get outta my face.” Turning to Dr. Sunshine, she asked, “Are you done yet?”
Dr. Sunshine continued to calmly explain the benefits and risks of the flu vaccine, and Ms. D’Patient returned to her phone call. As she entered minute #7, her phone issued a tone indicating that a call was waiting for her. Placing her friend on hold, she answered.
“Hi,” the voice at the other end said, “This is Dr. Sunshine calling you from across the room.” Stunned, Ms. D’Patient looked up to see Dr. Sunshine staring back at her, a cell phone to his ear.
“I’m the guy you brought your child to for advice because I’m an expert in child health,” he continued, “Could you please be so kind as to hang up the damn cell phone?”
Ms. D’Patient could not be reached on her cell phone for comment. However, Dr. Sunshine tells GomerBlog that she still refused the influenza vaccine, saying, “If my kids ever get the flu, I’ll just come here so you can give them some antibiotics.”