Monday, September 10, 2007

Changes in the Public's Perception of Physicians

Accompanying the glut of data about doctors and medicine has been a not-so-subtle change in the public's attitude toward physicians. Formerly revered by one and all, physicians now come under attack for racism, homophobia, misogyny, and patient abuse. Tabloid journalism has stirred up angry consumers who feel that physicians:

  • Make too much money

  • Are subsidized to perform such "immoral" medical procedures as therapeutic abortions

  • Have taken advantage of a patient's weakness and trust to further their own personal, professional, or sexual agendas.

Thanks to the efforts of tabloid newsmagazines like Hardball With Chris Matthews and talk show hosts like Bill O'Reilly, some doctors have done a remarkably thorough job of earning the public's scorn. Comedic spoofs of physicians, such as this clip from The Daily Show With Jon Stewart only reinforce such perceptions.

To many people, doctors appear to be as pompous, greedy, and egocentric as lawyers. Some people have developed such a severe distrust of doctors that the patient/physician relationship quickly deteriorates into an adversarial situation.

Next: Politicization Of The Healthcare Industry

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