Dr. Brian ThornburgNatural Awakenings - Dr. Brian Thornburg
...Dr. Brian Thornburg
As a pediatrician who's chosen to practice an old-fashioned approach to modern medicine, Dr. Brian Thornburg
gets to experience up close and personal the "24/7 phenomenon of childhood."He
sees all its wonderment as well as its many communicable diseases.
In practice locally for four years, this compassionate graduate of the Medical College of Georgia
private practice, Thornburg Pediatrics, to serve southwest Florida in 2006.Also a father of four daughters, ages four months to four years, the good doctor now spends his days, and some evenings, providing health care for children ranging from infancy to age 18.
Children's medicine first grabbed Thornburg's attention in the early days of medical school."Pediatrics came at me out of left field," says Thornburg
."I thought I was going to be a surgeon, but then I discovered that I loved working with children more than any other population of patients."
Thornburg's choice to practice the new brand of customized on-call "concierge medicine" has afforded him, his
patients and their families a more leisurely sense of time to develop the kind of doctor-patient relationship that has long been missing from contemporary medicine.Thornburg's
more hands-on practice, which even includes answering his
own phone, is designed to restore two-way respect to the doctor/patient relationship and to help parents nurture the whole child so that they become healthy, happy and well-adjusted individuals.
"Parents are literally shocked the first couple of times they call me," says Thornburg
sees five to 10 patients a day and makes house calls.He
makes sure, for example, that all newborns get house calls.After all, he
quips, "Mom isn't in a position to jump in the car and drive 20 minutes to my office."Other house calls depend on circumstances.
If the annual enrollment fee of $1,500 (paid monthly, annually or semi-annually) for Thornburg's
personalized services seems pricey, the valuable things it affordsâ€"allowing parents and children to enjoy a sense of familiarity, security and comfortâ€"are priceless.The cost of a visit is a separate charge and the enrollment fee is not covered by insurance.
During home or office visits, parents are encouraged to ask questions.They find themselves listened to like valued clients.Thornburg
explains that with the concierge approach to medical care, parents are happier and the doctor doesn't face burn out from an overwhelming caseload.
"Many families feel pressured and confused after reading diverse pro and con positions posted on the Internet," advises Thornburg
."One of the biggest controversies involves thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used in vaccine production.Immunizations produced for children younger than 7 (except for the influenza vaccine) are federally mandated not to contain this additive.Several years ago thimerosal was added to most vaccines, but it is now used in a more limited way as a preservative in flu vaccines.Thimerosal-free vaccines are available but cost a few dollars more."
Acknowledging the existing controversy regarding the possible connection between autism and the Mumps Measles and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, Thornburg
says that there is compelling information present on both sides of the argument.He
points to a 2002 article in the New England Journal of Medicine
that concluded there is "strong evidence against the hypothesis that MMR vaccination causes autism."However, the journal did not initially disclose that 88 percent of the authors worked for or had financial ties to the vaccine industry and/or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
.Questioning this data, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons
published in 2004 that the 2002 article did in fact show a statistically significant association between the MMR vaccine and autism if an age-adjustment is made.Basically, this raises the question as to when a vaccine stops having the potential ability to create an adverse effect.Thornburg
agrees to treat children who are not vaccinated, but only after parents explain their position and sign a release form.
This forward-seeing kid's doc helps supervise the health of his
patients during a time when their bodies are experiencing their greatest growth, development and maturation.All the while he
is working to ensure that the good results reach far beyond young adulthood, the time when it's his
turn to relinquish influence.