“Consult Your Doctor” on Vaccines? Medical Doctors Receive Little to No Training on Vaccines in Medical School
There exists a general belief among the public that medical doctors are “experts” with regard to vaccines. Newspaper and magazine articles and medical and public health websites frequently advise that, when it comes to vaccination, people should “consult your doctor.“ The counsel is the equivalent of the “ask your doctor” to which TV viewers have grown accustomed to hearing at the conclusion of advertisements for prescription drugs. The underlying assumption is that doctors have received considerable vaccine education and training when they attended medical school—so much, in fact, that they merit the public’s belief that they are indeed experts on the subject and that they can be trusted to provide accurate, scientifically based information. But is it right to assume that is true? Do medical school students learn a lot about vaccine science, history, and ethics?