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School stats

On our report on Rochester schools' low test scores: Reporter Tim Macaluso mentions the scores of students at School 58 but fails to mention the number of students who opted out of the test. School 58 had one of the highest opt-out rates in the state. One hundred percent of 8th graders opted out last year alone. Only a handful of students actually "sat" for the test compared to the majority of students who sat for it in Fairport.

I would expect City Newspaper to dive a bit deeper rather than presenting only one thread of the story. The comparison between the city schools and the suburban ones in this fashion supports what so much of the community already believes: that you simply cannot get a good education in the Rochester school district. There is already enough institutional racism within our city. This doesn't help.


Flu season

I moved to Rochester four months ago to start my residency training in family medicine. Just barely into the flu season, I've already noticed a disturbing trend: Many people do not want the flu shot.

We just recently received the vaccine in my office, and of the handful of patients I have offered it to, all declined it. Earlier this year, as a fourth-year medical student in North Carolina, I watched peoples' lungs fail, require a ventilator, and in some cases die from the flu.

Some facts about the flu vaccine:

1) The flu shot does not give you the flu. People who have gotten the shot and then got sick shortly thereafter unluckily came in contact with the virus before the vaccine had a chance to work (which takes several weeks).

2) You can still get the flu long after getting the shot. However, it is usually a much milder and shorter illness because of the shot.

3) People do need the flu shot every year. The exact breed of virus is different from year to year; thus the vaccine is different every year.

4) Some people say, "I've never had the flu, so I don't need the shot." Again, the flu virus is different from year to year. What happened last year says nothing about what will happen this year. Every year without getting the vaccine is a roll of the dice.

5) There are some instances where the specific formulations of the vaccine can be unadvised in some patients. Thus if people have questions, they should speak to their doctor.