For this weeks reflection post I decided on the relationship between a Dr. and his/her patient(s). The phrase “culture of bio medicine” refers to the relationship between the physical biology of the human body in relation to the culture said body is in. Depending on where the body is can mean vast differences in the ways it is taken care of in a time of medical assistance. As cultures vary so to do the ways illness, health, and medicine are viewed. As the professor said in the first lecture these differences can change the relationships of the dichotomy’s in the medical field. I will be looking at the relationship between doctor and patient in the US and some changes that have been happening in recent years and their impacts on this relationship. As long as there have been traditional doctors, people have viewed them as authority figures in the field of medicine because they are well trained experts. Up until a few years ago there was almost no questioning this relationship that the doctor new best and the patient should take his/her word as law. Now with the introduction of WebMD and other public access resources available for free to anyone that can get on a computer, there has been a trend known as the expert patient. I short the term is referring to patients using doctors as a device to write the prescriptions they themselves have already decided they need via the internet. With this happening the original relationship is fading and doctors are seeming like less like expert and more like a bump in the road patients have to cross to get their treatment. I personally think it is alright for people to self prescribe themselves and there are a number of reasons why. First the medical system in the US is so upside down in that doctors are encouraged to sell as many pills as they can for profit. I mean its the same argument in that cops are encouraged to meet a quota of tickets per month. Why not just cut out the middle man. Don’t get me wrong there are tons of reasons why this will never happen i.e. drug abuse, lack of control, and misdiagnoses, but I think in some cases it might be better to cut out the middle man. Now as for the majority of medical problems I know for a fact going to the doctor is the better option. I think in most of these cases they are to specific doctors i.e. podiatrists, gerontologist, so on and so forth. 


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Devin Jay-Garfein says:

    I agree with you, I think that the expert patient is a good trend. As a consumer it is good to be well informed about the products used. Having WebMD and other forms of information for the public is beneficial. I think that knowledge is power and more people are taking control of their health. It is also more affordable to go online and look up a question than it is to see a doctor, so for people who do not have good medical care it works in their favor to access other means of information. The only part of your blog that I do not agree with a hundred percent is cutting out a middle-man. I think it could be very dangerous to not have a doctor prescribe drugs. They should know what is best and then help a patient, and make it safe. I think if a middle-man were to be cut out it would have many negative effects. Unfortunately not everyone in our society can be trusted to use drugs in the correct dosages or for the correct purpose. The middle-man’s job I think is there to protect society from itself. I think that it is important that doctors understand that patients are informed and to add to their knowledge. They job is to help patients in the best way they can.

  2. Widad Nasser says:

    I think that the dichotomy of doctor and patient is very important in biomedicine. I think that some doctors need to realize that the patient is not an experiment in the field of medicine. They go to the doctor to find out what exactly is wrong with them. It is the doctor’s job to understand what the patient is experiencing and to be open minded to different cultures and ways of explaining illness. I do agree that there are so many forms of education that is easily accessed by patients that the number of expert patients is growing. Patients know more today about different illnesses, however, I do not believe that they should be able to diagnose themselves. Most individuals that use WebMD and look up their symptoms usually mistreat themselves. This is when the expertise of a professional comes in to properly treat these patients, but they need to keep in mind that these patients are somewhat “experts” because they have read into their diagnoses. Also, these patients need to trust that the doctor knows what he is talking about when it comes to their well being. In the end, both the patients and the doctors work to reach the same goal in the treatment of the ill.

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