The culture of biomedicine is the norms of the social and medical aspects of how we are treating patients. This is important because the culture of medicine is constantly changing and goes through stages. For example, medicalization in the early half of the 20th century focused on advertisement of diseases that were predominant during that time frame. For example, antibiotics were popular near the era of World War II and were highly advertised. As medicalization turned into biomedicalization, the focused turned to promoting drugs to simply make the body work better. One example would be advertising daily vitamins, and claiming that they will help you live longer.

I think that dichotomy simply came from the fact that things, especially in western society, are considered cut and dry one thing or another. For example, people tend to view wealth as being rich or poor, or hunger and hungry or not hungry. Western society seems to go for the truth and the truth rarely involves an intermediate choice. I think that dichotomy is a little ridiculous simply because it seems very narrow minded to think as something being one thing or another. In some instances, there is an intermediate between two things, such as a middle class which is ‘medium wealth’.

Dichotomy is excepted as true and logical because western society tends to search for the definite truth through the answers of science. Inconclusive evidence or intermediate answers are rarely seen in modern science therefore western society sees answers as being one way or another. This is the way western society views healthy individuals; either someone is healthy, or they are not healthy. It is rarely interpreted to where someone has cancer in one area of their body, but people still view them as healthy because the rest of their body is cancer free. Therefore, if someone has cancer they are simply considered ‘ill’.

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  1. Alexis Rife says:

    I think it is extremely important for clinicians to understand this dichotomy of doctor patient because many people have their own preconceived notions of it. The doctor is meant to give diagnoses and prescribe treatments while the patient is supposed to describe the symptoms and accept the doctor’s word. This is how this dichotomy is presented. However, in our society today, with a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, many people take it upon themselves to research their symptoms, give themselves a diagnosis, and treat themselves as they see fit. Meanwhile, doctors are used simply for validation of their illnesses in case a prescription medication is needed for treatment. In this way, the doctor patient dichotomy has become more of an ideal than a reality. If clinicians take for fact that this dichotomy is still a reality, it may alter their methods of diagnosis and treatment. If patients come in to the office with a preconceived idea of the name and nature of the illness from which they are suffering, then the doctor need not play as large a role in that diagnosis, but merely validate or eliminate that idea as a relevant possibility. A potential implication of this reversal of roles and the death of this dichotomy is that doctors are no longer viewed as all-knowing and the average citizen may become even more self-reliant.

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