As far as hot-button health care topics go, it is hard to top vaccines. Even dropped into a casual conversation, the idea itself in its various iterations can cause tension and divisiveness.

It follows, then, that talking to vaccine-hesitant patients about the topic can present significant challenges for gastroenterologists treating inflammatory bowel disease. However, the conversation is necessary, and may need to take place at every visit.

“I personally have a hard stop in my templated note that forces me to address vaccinations,” Gil Y. Melmed, MD, director of clinical IBD at

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