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How We Got Where We Are and Why

Reviewing the current situation in the healthcare system of the country, we could not but advise you on the major changes occurring within the medical system. The major impact these changes cause is perceived through the level of autonomy medical specialists currently experience. It frequently seems threatening to the opportunities which you, as a customer, must possess to protect your rights for high-quality healthcare delivery. The situation, however, has not been similar through the American history.

Claiming prevalent position of medicine has become a determining feature of the 20th century. This tendency displays slight decrease while we are entering the new millennium, but there is still high level of conflicts and misunderstandings taking place in medical environment. Such conflicts are rooted in the fact, that patients accept medical judgments without denying or doubting them, due to being sick and totally relying on the medical professionals’ authority. It is essential that you are cautious in evaluating medical judgments properly.

Despite the fact that such borderless medical authority has been acquiring its present character gradually, the external social and cultural changes in the American society have led to the situation, when ‘by shaping the patients’ understanding of their own experience, physicians create the conditions, under which their advise seems appropriate’. (Anonymous 2004, 582) The social and cultural authority medical professionals possess in the contemporary society is rarely familiar to consumer; thus the threats consumers face as a results of this unlimited authority are never properly identified.

You are the one to remember that appropriateness of medical advice is often created artificially, being justified by the market requirements and the need to increase the level of the medical entity profitability. Creating appropriateness of the medical advice has become even easier with the development of advanced diagnostic technologies. As a result, the symptoms, issues and concerns you may report to the medical worker are no longer relevant, or rather, are no longer accepted as relevant.

It is the sign of the long-standing and unavoidable conflict between market and professionalism (Anonymous 2004, 587) and in this equation professionalism directly depends on market, while logically the situation in medicine should have been opposite. Kindly pay special attention to the issue of medicine becoming commercialized. Despite the pubic claims that medicine is above market and commerce, the fact of medicine become the object of competition and market relations cannot be denied.

As a result, you as consumer and a patient, become the source of financial profits, leading to the dramatically increasing dependence of patients on physicians. The unspecialized knowledge, produced and used by patients in their self-diagnosing has lost its significant meaning. ‘The new order of urban life and industrial capitalism generally required people to rely more on complementary skills of others and less on their own unspecialized talents’.

(Anonymous 2004, 593) The problem is not in the level of unspecialized knowledge and its relevance in medical science; the problem is in intentionally diminishing the role of patient’s reports and explanations in primary diagnosing possible diseases. This aspect is recommended to be emphasized in your interaction with medical professionals. You are the one to protect your health and not to make it the source of financial profits which may ultimately damage you.

In trying to protect yourself you should also realize that the current legal system does not presuppose any official right for healthcare. The increasing concern relates to the issue of human rights in healthcare. As a result, the level of responsibility for the quality of healthcare services should be closely viewed by you in your process of customer-medical professional interaction. Conclusion The level of blind trust to medical professionals has recently acquired the most serious character ever known to the society.

On losing the necessary vigilance, patients frequently become the victims of skillfully delivered information, aimed at obtaining higher profits for the lower quality of healthcare services. With patients being the medical care customers, it is their primary role to watch the process of health care delivery and not to allow medical personnel capture our weaknesses and to continue keeping their groundlessly prevalent position in the society.

References

Anonymous. (2004). Precis of Paul Starr’s The social transformation of American medicine. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 29 (4-5), 575-620

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