Medical schools are starting to train doctors to be less intimidating to patients. And patients are starting to train themselves to be less intimidated by doctors.
We haven’t completely gotten away from the syndrome so perfectly described by Alec Baldwin’s arrogant surgeon in the movie “Malice”: “When someone goes into that chapel and they fall on their knees and they pray to God that their wife doesn’t miscarry or that their daughter doesn’t bleed to death or that their mother doesn’t suffer acute neural trauma from postoperative shock, who do you think they’re praying to? ... You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God.”
But there have been baby steps away from the Omniscient Doctor. The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has begun a new campaign to encourage patients to ask more pertinent questions and to prod doctors to elicit more relevant answers.
But there have been baby steps away from the Omniscient Doctor. The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has begun a campaign to encourage patients to ask more pertinent questions and elicit more relevant answers.
"I used to think, 'He's a doctor. Who am I to ask a question?' " says Bill Lee, a Baltimore man who has suffered 10 heart attacks, in a video on the agency's website.
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