When I went to medical school in the late 1960s, one of my wiser pediatric professors told us students: “always listen to the parents of your pediatric patients, because they will tell you what is wrong with the child”.
That truism proved to be valuable in dealing with patients and their family members throughout my career in family practice, and I still believe in its profound truth. Even when dealing with adult patients, I have found that family members often have valuable observations and know important historical facts about the patient that helped me make a more accurate and timely diagnosis.
I have heard many physicians complain that they are sometimes kept from obtaining a thorough medical history because of time constraints imposed on them by their clinics, which can impair the development of the list of potential diagnoses. Important examples of diagnoses that are frequently not considered are the host of vaccine-induced adverse effects – partly because they are largely un-recognized by many pro-vaccine physicians and nurses and partly because they qualify as being iatrogenic.
Of course, my late 1960s med school experience occurred in a simpler time in medical history when Big Pharma, Big Vaccine, Big Medicine and the variety of other profit-minded corporations or governmental agencies were still in their infancy. Those medical industries weren’t so cutthroat back then. They had not yet started recognizing and exploiting the enormous profit potential to be had in “miracle” drugs and “miracle” vaccines. But the hype was starting. I still have my Eli Lilly reflex hammer and stethoscope to remind my about some of the subtle ways that Big Pharma propagandizes physicians.
The CEOs of 1950s to 1960s-era pharmaceutical companies like Cutter Laboratories, Wyeth, Parke-Davis, Ciba-Geigy, Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Merck, Sharp & Dohme were only making salaries in the range of a hundred thousand dollars a year, rather than the multi-million-dollars per year salaries (plus stock options) that they now command – and they were somehow satisfied with that.
In the context of this column, it is important to be reminded that Cutter Labs was a prominent vaccine company in the mid-1950s. Cutter manufactured and marketed a formaldehyde-inactivated poliovirus vaccine (Salk’s, not Sabin’s), but the formaldehyde inactivation technology failed in many of the mass-produced vaccine batches,