Week 5: Reflection Post Prompt

Title: Choose a dichotomy in biomedicine to analyze further (e.g. life/death, nature/culture, male/female, mind/body, treatment/enhancement, doctor/patient, healthy/sick, etc.)

Body: (300 words)

  • What do we mean by the “culture of biomedicine” and why is this an important concept? Draw on the materials from this week to answer this question.
  • Explain your own personal views on dichotomy and where you think they came from?
  • Why you think this dichotomy is accepted as logical/natural/true in western society?

Comment: (200 words)

  • Pick a post with a different dichotomy in their title to analyze
  • Explain why you think it is important for clinicians to understand this particular dichotomy? What are the potential implications if they take it for fact?

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. James Conwell says:

    I think that your discussion on the dichotomy between doctors and patients touched on some important factors in their relationship. I think that clinicians need to fully understand their role when interacting with patients. Clinicians, especially ones that are trained in western medicine, must understand how much power that they have over their patients. Physicians have knowledge that very few other individuals have, and ill patients are often in a vulnerable position. As a result of their knowledge physicians have a large amount prestige in our society, and thus there is a potential for abuse of this dichotomy. Clinicians should instead believe and accept that it is their role to help the sick, and to heal their patients. I think that if they take a strict view of being a healer, and do no harm to their patients, then clinicians can truly be the healers they are supposed to be. This would include giving treatments that will help their patients with their ailments, as well as helping patients understand their health and illnesses. However, if clinicians accept this strict dichotomy as fact, then the potential for abuse still is there. If a physician is trained in an abusive form of medicine, or truly believes that an abusive practice is beneficial for their patient, then they would believe they would have the right to do practice, which is a dangerous precedent. Ultimately, physicians must be trained in medicine in a way that allows them to accept the doctor/patient dichotomy, while not using abusive practices.

  2. Ashley Start says:

    I think it is very important for clinicians to understand the dichotomy of male versus female when dealing with patients. Although male and female are thought to be completely separate sexes, there are cases of people being born as both sexes, which do not neatly fall into the male versus female dichotomy. Many people also do not identify as being the gender they were assigned at birth, so it is also very important for doctors to be sensitive towards this topic and respect the patient’s identity but also provide the necessary healthcare for whatever condition the patient is facing. It is also important for the clinician to understand the different conditions that can only be faced by either males or females, such as low testosterone or menopause. Many clinicians are specialized in either male or female care (such as gynecologists and obstetricians) and are understanding of this dichotomy between male and female patients. Many more old fashioned clinicians are not aware of transgender individuals who do not identify as their gender assigned at birth and may be not as sensitive to the issue as people who are more aware of these individuals would be and it is very important that these clinicians understand this dichotomy.

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