W5 Reflection: Doctor/patient


Culture of biomedicine has been defined as how Western cultures have taken the natural sciences, including biology and physiology , and used these applications in creating clinical medicine. This first begins understanding the chemistry of these sciences and developing the appropriate treatments. Advancement in technology is also a huge factor in helping create this culture of biomedicine. The goal would to be to eliminate this disease all together, but scientists are still a long ways away from reaching this point. The western cultures are trying to use biomedicine as being and end all be all technology rather than a preventative measure.


I believe that the concept of dichotomy is a natural process that all humans go through. When humans think of one object/subject they are going to naturally think of the opposite. I think that our culture and society helps create dichotomies but for the most part, dichotomies will remain the same, such as life/death, sickness/health. A dichotomy leaves no room for a “gray” area, it is very black and white (ex; either you are the doctor or you are the patient). In the western society, we are fairly advanced in comparison to the world. With this being said, the majority of people have some education, allowing us to be able to think of an object and be able to relate it to it’s opposite pairing. As far as the doctor and patient dichotomy, the western societies have created an educational gap between a doctor and a patient, with no other factor falling into the middle. Either you are the educated one regarding medicine and you are the Doctor. If you are not the doctor, then you are the patient. I do not completely agree with this dichotomy, because I do believe that even patients can be educated and sometimes they know their own bodies better than a doctor would.

2 thoughts on “W5 Reflection: Doctor/patient

  1. Hi, Jordan!
    I think it is important to remember that there can always be gray area when talking about virtually any two people, as there can always be similarities between them. For example, a doctor can always be a patient and a patient can also be a doctor. It is important to understand the potential differences between the two, however. If a patient is not a doctor, or is not educated enough in the medical field to treat themselves, then it is important to understand this dichotomy clinically because a patient may not know enough to treat themselves. On the other hand, medicine is still underdeveloped in the modern day. In fact, there are many treatments for diseases that have been used thousands of years ago that still have better results than their modern treatments. For example, people used to use maggots for debriding wounds. Seems unsanitary and unsafe, right? But it turns out this is more effective for cleaning wounds than most debridement practices used in surgery today. This goes to show that both doctors and patients in the modern world have some expertise on how to treat someone who is sick, most often themselves or types of patients they have had experience with.

  2. Hi Jordan,

    The doctor/patient dichotomy is interesting because unlike other dichotomies such as the male/female one that I did, these two halves are very specialized and not nature driven. That is to say that an individual can choose to be a doctor but also they could be a patient as well. In the male and female dichotomy, the gender of an individual is decided by birth but in the doctor patient dichotomy, people go through years of training before they can become a doctor, and a patient becomes a patient through particular illnesses. I think the relevance of this particular dichotomy lies in the fact that these roles are important to establish a working relationship between the two. Patients rely on doctors to care for their differing ailments and doctors may or may not look for compensation for them. Clinicians must understand this if they are to find the patient clientele for whom they serve. This relationship is essential in many different kinds of cultures that rely on healers to cure the sick, ethnomedically driven or biomedically driven. In western culture, doctors have an esteemed status and the patients seek medical help through the institution of hospitals and clinics to help them. In other cultures, the doctors may manifest themselves as Shamans. Whatever the form may be, this dichotomy exists as an important part of understanding the universality of healthcare.

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