Medical Tuesday Blog

Should Doctors Hold Public Office?

May 22

Written by: Del Meyer
05/22/2017 6:07 AM 

Physicians, nurses, and other professions are never line officers in the military or other organizations. They are always advisory to the chain of command. This is as it should be. Physicians do not make good senators, or judges, administrators, executive officers, including CEO of a country. At the present time we have two physicians trying to be the president of these United States.  It’s not in their nature to be in command. There is a vast difference in being in charge of a neurosurgical or an ophthalmology suite with a clear focus on being expert in our training and specialty. There are no special skills in our training to be the Commander-in-Chief of the military or to be skillful in all endeavors in our country or the world at large. Being a governor may be a training ground, but it is not complete. Neither of the doctors running for president has had such public administrative experience. However, their entry was a pleasant diversion of the political process. There is plenty of time to allow this most interesting development to close prior to our next year’s presidential election.

How important is influenza vaccination for school children.

In the 1960 as a Medical Student, I was on the Board of Education of Immanuel Lutheran School, the largest protestant school in Kansas City with 150 students in K-8. Influenza vaccination was encouraged but only half of the children ended up being vaccinated. We decided this was good with half of the children immunized, an epidemic would not be too fierce with an average of every other child being immune. There were no epidemics within the school during those two years.

In the 1980s, I was on the Board of Education of Town & Country Lutheran School with 120 students in K-8th grade. It was the largest Lutheran School in Sacramento. Again we encourage flu vaccine for everyone. Our survey indicated that about 90% had been immunized.

In 2014 we have a medical doctor in the state legislature. He is supporting legislation and a proposition to force 100% vaccination. The Sacramento Bee reports that we have approximately a 97% immunization rate in Sacramento County. With 97% of our children immunized we cannot have a flu epidemic in our schools.

Why would a physician want to be that dictatorial by forcing 100% compliance? It has been estimated to obtain compliance of the last 5 percent in any endeavor, is not only very coercive, but also the most expensive portion of the Bell Curve. Isn’t he able to do the math? Having received the highest level of education in society, why has he given up on the education of his patients, their families and the public which is the method used in a free and voluntary civilization? This does not detract from affirming that influenza vaccination is extremely important for our children. The parents obviously agree with us.

“Sometimes it’s best to keep your mouth shut and act like a fool, rather than open it and remove all doubt.”


Thomas Jefferson was a prolific writer. His Papers at the Library of Congress are a rich storehouse of his thoughts and ideas expressed both in official correspondence and in private letters. This brief selection suggests something of what awaits users’ own online investigations into the writings of the man who was the third president of the United States, the founder of the University of Virginia, and author of the Declaration of Independence.

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