W5 Reflection: Patient/Doctor

When talking about the culture of biomedicine I think it refers to the way illness and disease are treated within the biomedical system. It also has to do with the fact that there is an extensive process to practice medicine in this culture that is different from other cultures. The culture revolves around a prestigious position that holds power over the patient with medicine and treatments. I think this is an important concept because biomedicine is largely based off facts and I think that is something that is valued within a culture such as ours. It is also important because it lays a foundation for how to act appropriately as a doctor or as a patient. People understand in most cases that doctors have spent years cultivating their trade and it is expected that they make the right decisions based off this. In the doctor/patient dichotomy there are many different layers and circumstances that arise because of the way our culture uses resources. The patient is supposed to represent someone that needs help with a problem and has no clue what to do. They do not have the knowledge, training, or the ability to get medications in this current system. The doctor in a way is almost an inhuman form of help. I have noticed in our culture that doctors are supposed to almost be 100% healthy with no problems. Its like the patient expects the doctor to be like a computer where you punch in the problem and it spits out the solution. I think that this is accepted in our culture because of logic. It only makes sense to listen to a doctor because he or she has spent a great portion of their life studying for the day you walk into their clinic. This is true because we have a standard that is set in order to practice medicine. It is governed which is different that many medical practices from around the world.

One thought on “W5 Reflection: Patient/Doctor

  1. Hi Robert I like your analysis of the patient/doctor dichotomy. It is important for both clinicians and patients to understand this in a broader sense. As you explained, it is easy for a patient to view the doctor as someone that will have all the answers in a sort of robot like way. People may even get upset if they find a doctors visit unhelpful or if they do not feel like they have been adequately treated or listened too. Patients need to keep in mind that doctors are human too and may not always have the answer or might miss something every once in awhile. Despite having spent many many years study and training, they are not computers or robots who know everything. Doctors get sick and have connections to cancer or serious diseases like the rest of us. On the other side, it is important for clinicians to understand the high standards they are held to and listen and communicate with their patients in the most effective ways. There will also be the times when the doctor becomes the patient. They must now assume a different role and listen and respect another doctor. This could prove to be difficult if they try to intervene with their own opinions of how they should be cared for. If this dichotomy is taken as fact it could cause for unmet expectations and misunderstanding between the patient and doctor.

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