Medical Sociology Essay

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Medical Sociology Introduction That the medical field is facing very difficult challenges, some of which are old and many which are new, is nothing new to the public. Issues such as the lack of health care coverage for everyone, the high cost of medical care and the growing distance between health care professionals and patients are only few highlights of this crisis. What is different about our current crisis is the approach that is taken in order to solve these problems. Present discussion of the health care crisis centers around economic and political issues, and moreover, many health care workers and sociologists are concerned that such a discussion has shifted the emphasis away from the people in the system--the patients and…show more content…
Theory and general practices of medical sociology Before applications of medical sociology are addressed, a look at the theory and general practice of medical sociology is appropriate. The theory of sociology concerns "understanding the meaning of social action" which comprises the subjective elements of human beings; it explores human beings and their relationship to social agencies and the hierarchical structures of society which determine the quality of that relationship; and it addresses questions of social order in the midst of disruptive and disorganizing elements in society (Turner, 1987, p. 3, emphasis added). When applied to medicine, sociology becomes the means by which health care personnel can see the whole picture, including historical, economical, cultural, and political forces. There has been a controversy surrounding the authority of medical sociology as a critical voice of the current health system. First is the concern that most of the medical sociologists do not go to medical school; they are not trained professionals. However, many view this prejudice as a historical and social power problem. For instance, in the past, the doctor's word was not questioned or scrutinized as it
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