Essay about The Decline in the Patient - Physician Relationship

1991 Words 8 Pages
The Decline in the Patient - Physician Relationship

Over the span of half a century, the medical profession has witnessed a catastrophic shift in the patient-physician relationship. As the manufacturing of new pharmaceuticals and the number of patients under a physician’s care continue to rise, doctor’s are finding it difficult to employ the time-honored principles listed within the Hippocratic Oath. This oath, written in 430 BC by the Greek Physician, Hippocrates, was the first document to state the responsibilities of a physician to his patient (vadscorner, pg 2). Hippocrates believed that it was the physician’s duty, as a healer, to treat the patient infected with the disease to the best of his ability, and not to treat the disease
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1). People have begun to rely on prescription drugs, more today than ever before. This is one of the immediate reasons for the breakdown in the patient-doctor relationship – the evolution and rise in the development of pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs (Changing, pg 3). For instance, the Baby Boomers are recognized nationally for taking the most prescription drugs. According to my mother, patients rely primarily on prescription drugs rather than other forms of treatment because of the fast paced economy and because society as a whole has adopted a “lack of caring” attitude. “As people age, all they want are pills.”-Mother

Another reason why physicians are finding it difficult employ the time-honored principles listed within the Hippocratic Oath is due to the increase in the number of patients listed under their care and the short amount of time with which they are able to see their patients (Hippocrates, pg. 1). Physicians, who work at clinics, on average, find themselves in charge of several patients. The number of patients that a physician must care for is generally too many for him to become acquainted with and care for, especially if the patient doesn’t schedule routine visits. As a result, physicians are only able to see patients for about an hour. During the appointments, physicians try their best to answer their patient’s questions. However, patients’ often feel intimidated and
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