What is a patient? What do they do? What’s their role in the doctor’s office? Are they chassis on a conveyor belt? Are they puzzles for doctors to solve? Are they diseases? Are they demographics? Are they a repository for applied science?
Or are they consumers? Are they paying customers? Are they the ones in charge? Are they employing physicians for their own needs?
It depends. It depends on the situation. It depends on perspective.
Some physicians are very offended when the “consumer” and “customer” labels are applied to patients. They see this as the industrialization of healthcare. We are no longer professionals, we are made into “providers” — sort of smart vending-machine made out of flesh.
Patients, on the other hand, get offended when doctors forget who pays the bill. They see the exam room as a right, not a privilege. They think they should be the most important person in the exam room, being treated with respect rather than having to bow at the altar of doctor knowledge.
Who’s right? It depends. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*