Just as we have discussed in the past, Western ‘biomedicine’ struggles to meet the holistic care of the patient, and instead focuses on the physical manifestations of symptoms. There is such a huge emphasis on objective observations that subjective ones are not taken as seriously. For example, the conversation in our lecture video between the doctor and the patient was strictly focusing on the spread of her psoriasis and how to treat her physical symptom rather than dealing with her emotional instability. She tried explaining to Dr. Jones that her stress started a while ago and was progressing, however instead he was only concerned with treating the progression of her illness. Because the spread of psoriasis is related to increased levels of stress hormones, why not prescribe a steroid for her skin, and also refer her to a psychologist? This could potentially help alleviate her discomfort even faster than choosing one treatment over another. I personally believe that psychological treatment is very effective with patients who do not handle stress well; it can significantly decrease the frequency of illnesses that one acquires. Additionally, it was easy to pick up on the terrible bedside manner that Dr. Jones presented to his patient. Jo Marchant, author of the book The Cure, had mentioned that bedside manner could possibly influence the effectiveness of treatment that a patient receives. Just as Paul Camic and Sara Knight, editors of the Clinical Handbook of Health Psychology contests that “Regardless of the setting where we meet with our patients, of the types of problems that we treat… it is the quality of the relationship between professional and client that begins and sustains the healing process”(p. 4). Having a positive mindset that your doctor is caring enough to put your best interest first will most likely reinforce that your treatment is effective, rather than someone who ignores your concerns and interrupts while you are trying to provide them with viable information. This is a huge reason why bedside manner is very important with patient care. I believe that this is also the same idea used with religion. Although the source of illness can differ, such as one might believe it is a spirit or “bad air,” if one prays hard enough and believes that a higher power has their best interest at heart, than who is to say that when that person recovers it wasn’t because of the higher being? The process of putting faith in another being is the same; one just has a tangible treatment, while another cannot be seen, only felt by the afflicted.
Camic, Paul, and Sara Knight, eds. Clinical Handbook of Health Psychology: A Practical Guide to Effective Interventions. N.p.: Hogrefe Publishing, 2004. https://books.google.com/books?id=4UZfAgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false.