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Douglas J. Opel, MD, MPH

Douglas J. Opel, MD, MPH

Bioethics, Pediatrics-Inpatient

On staff since September 2005

Children's Title: Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics

Academic Title: Assistant Professor, Division of Bioethics and Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Bioethics and Humanities, University of Washington School of Medicine

Research Center: Center for Clinical and Translational Research

"I am passionate about treating the whole patient. I try not to stop at understanding a child's illness; I also try to understand their (and their family's) emotions, aspirations, values and goals. It is gratifying to see how much this often helps the healing process."


MistyPullman, WA07.18.11
My son was quiet ill and the doctors were not sure exactly what was wrong for a while. It was a very scary time for us. Dr. Opel was wonderful! And exactly like his quote says, he does care for the patient and family as a whole. We saw more doctors than I ever wanted to during our stay at Children's, but Dr. Opel was our favorite. We ran into him a year later in the cafeteria while there for follow up care and he remember us, our son, and even what we did for a living. Fabulous man! Excellent doctor!
Recommend Dr. Douglas Opel


Board Certification(s)
Medical/Professional School
University of Chicago, Chicago
University of Washington, Seattle
Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle
University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle
Research Description

My research interests include provider communication strategies that improve parental acceptance of childhood vaccines and devising methods to identify and address organizational issues underlying ethical conflict.

Research Focus Area

Translational Research


Impact of a Pertussis Epidemic on Infant Vaccination in Washington State
Pediatrics , Aug. 18, 2014: 456-64
How You Start the Conversation Matters
Minn Med. , May 2014: 97(5)50-1
A 6-Month-Old With Vaccine-Hesitant Parents
Pediatrics , March 2014: 133(3)526-30
Rethinking Vaccine Policy Making in an Era of Vaccine Hesitancy: Time to Rebuild, Not Remodel?
Hum Vaccin Immunother , Dec. 2013: 9(12)2672-3
The Architecture of Provider-Parent Vaccine Discussions at Health Supervision Visits
Pediatrics , Dec. 2013: 132(6)1037-46
The Relationship Between Parent Attitudes About Childhood Vaccines Survey Scores and Future Child Immunization Status: a Validation Study
JAMA Pediatr , Nov. 2013: 167(11)1065-71
Use of Alternative Childhood Immunization Schedules in King County, Washington, USA
Vaccine , Oct. 1, 2013: 31(42)4699-701
Missed Opportunities for Adolescent Vaccination, 2006-2011
J Adolesc Health , July 1, 2013: 53(4)492-7
Window or Mirror: Social Networks' Role in Immunization Decisions
Pediatrics , April 15, 2013: 131(5)1619-20
The Intersection of Evidence and Values in Clinical guidelines: Who Decides What Constitutes Acceptable Risk in the Care of Children?
Hospital Pediatrics , April 1, 2013: 3(2)87-91
The Enigma of Alternative Childhood Immunization Schedules: What Are the Questions?
JAMA Pediatrics , Jan. 21, 2013: 167(3)304-5
Physician, Parent, Patient: Where Exactly Is the Line?
Hastings Center Report , Oct. 15, 2012: 42(6)14-18
Washington State Licensed Child Care Facility Directors' Perspectives on Childhood Immunization
Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society , Sept. 19, 2012: 2(1)40-9
Ethics for the Pediatrician: Bioethics Education and Resources
Pediatrics in Review , Aug. 1, 2012: 33(8)370-73
Choriophobia: A One-Act Play
Pediatrics , July 9, 2012: 130(2)342-6
Characterizing Providers Immunization Communication Behaviors during Health Supervision Visits with Vaccine-Hesitant Parents: A Pilot Study
Vaccine , Feb. 8, 2012: 30(7)1269-75
Washington State Pediatricians Attitudes Towards Alternative Childhood Immunization Schedules
Pediatrics , Nov. 28, 2011: 128(6)1094-9
Finding the proper balance between freedom and justice: why we should not eliminate personal belief exemptions to vaccine mandates
Journal of health politics, policy and law , Oct. 14, 2011: 37(1)141-7
Parental Refusals of Vaccination and School Vaccine Mandates: Balancing Parental Freedom, Child Welfare, and Public Health In Clinical Ethics in Pediatrics: A Case-based Textbook
Cambridge University Press , Oct. 2011: 205-10
A Multi-Center, Qualitative Assessment of Pediatrician and Parental Perspectives in Addressing the Detection of Porcine Circovirus in Rotavirus Vaccines
BMC Pediatrics , Sept. 26, 2011: 11:83
Construct Validity of a Survey to Identify Vaccine-Hesitant Parents
Vaccine , July 16, 2011: 29(38)
Development of a Survey to Identify Vaccine Hesitant Parents: The Parental Attitudes about Childhood Vaccines Survey
Human Vaccines , April 1, 2011: 7(4)419-25
Not Just a Bad Apple, but a Bad Barrel: The Biomedical Research System in the Wake of Wakefield
BMJ , Jan. 22, 2011: 342.179-80


Presentations TitleEventLocationDate
Rising to the Occasion: Strategies for Communicating with Vaccine Hesitant ParentsAmerican Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and ExhibitionNew Orleans, LAOct. 22, 2012
Taking Talk to the Next Level: In Search of Communication Practices that Increase Parental Immunization AcceptanceNational Immunization Conference, Hosted by the CDC On LineAtlanta, GAMarch 27, 2012
Findings on Alternative Immunization Schedule PracticesInstitute of Medicine Committee on the Safety of the Childhood Immunization ScheduleSeattle, WAMarch 8, 2012
Increasing Childhood Immunization Through Improved Provider-Parent CommunicationPediatric Grand Rounds, University of OklahomaOklahoma City, OKNov. 11, 2011
Blurring the Boundaries of Research and Clinical Care: A Constructive Ambiguity?12th Annual American Society for Bioethics and Humanities MeetingMinneapolis, MNOct. 14, 2011
Rising to the Occasion: Strategies for Communicating with Vaccine Hesitant ParentsPediatric Academic Societies Annual MeetingDenver, COMay 3, 2011

Research Funding

Grant TitleGrantorAmountAward Date
Increasing Childhood Immunization Rates through Improved Provider-Parent CommunicationNIH / NICHD $649,652.00Aug. 6, 2011
Randomized Controlled Trial of Provider Intervention to Improve Childhood Immunizations in Hesitant ParentsGroup Health Foundation $30,242.00July 1, 2011

Primary Office

Seattle Children's Research Institute
JMB - 6 - Clinical and Translational Research
1900 - 9th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

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