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Doctors vs. Patients, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1043

Essay

The main distinction between the real world and a dream is that reality is not ideal, and mistakes happen. In other words, no one is perfect and the human factor is unpredictable. That is why it does not surprise me that doctor as any human being can make a mistake. The only difference between ordinary people and doctors is that their mistakes influence health and sometimes even cost lives to their patients. Thus, their mistakes are more costly to make.

After watching the podcast, my perception of the fact that all people make mistakes did not change. I am still convinced that we all make mistakes. However, the attitude of medical staff and excuses they find to justifying these mistakes is an entirely different matter. First of all, they do not seem to realise that their mistakes, in fact, result in ruining one’s life. That woman with wheat allergy had to go through hell both physically and mentally only because doctors were too stereotypical in their methods and attitudes. The interviewee outlined that his mistake was conditioned by irritation. Personally, I consider that this is a very unprofessional attitude in the matters where one’s life is at stake.

The interviewee outlined that one of the main reasons for mistakes are not even subjective judgements but the lack of communication. However, both subjective judgment and reluctance to communicate are only the symptoms of a far more crucial problem – instrumentalist approach to people and their treatment. The interviewee mentioned that the young specialists are more creative in their performance; they are eager to listen to a whole story a patient wants to tell, while more experienced doctors tend to be more conservative. This is because the young doctors still have the connection with the patients: they still see people in their patients rather than duties and statistical minutes they need to devote to each patient.  They still care for their patients. Thus, personally, I think that one of the hazards of this work is that doctors tend to lose their humanity and begin to treat their activity only as performance according to the prescribed regulations. It does not mean that it is entirely their fault, since as it was mentioned in the podcast doctors are under constant pressure of the national insurance and healthcare systems. However, if a doctor wants to help his patient and actually make a difference, it can be made even in ten minutes but with the due attention and professionalism.

In terms of treating surgery as a ritual that deal with a human soul, I think that surgeons do not see a surgery as a spiritual process but rather as a metaphor. The nature of surgeon’s profession is to rationalise life and to perceive it in terms of various material systems of human body. It is far from actually mending one’s soul or conducting a spiritual act. Although, in Selzer’s essay, the surgery is described as a certain ritual of mending the inner microcosm of the human body; he does not refer to it as a spiritual act of mending one’s soul. He only treats a human body as a certain resemblance of the universe in the complexity of one’s body, which is a very philosophical and poetic way to describe the ritual of surgery in a complex and meaningful way. However, it does not make a direct connection with the surgery and one’ soul.

On the other hand, James Clarke’s poem uses the image of the soul as a metaphor for human identity and humanness. In this regard, the author demonstrates that the instrumentalist and statistical approach to such vital matters like brain surgery left out the most important aspect of the entire procedure/ritual – the life of an individual who is operated. In this regard, while the doctors are preoccupied with the two more surgeries in the list, they forget that it is the person’s life, and future are at stake at this very moment. In other words, when the patient asks the doctor to leave his soul alone, he intends to say stop playing with me like a soulless toy and treat me like a living human being with personality and consciousness. In this regard, the mentioning of the soul serves as a certain reminder of one’s individuality and personification of the patient.  It is also a reminder that surgeons and doctors are actually holding one’s life in their hand, and they are responsible for the consequences of their decisions and what happens to patients after these decisions.

Regarding the statement that doctors and patients want the same, I strongly disagree with it. Although it may seem that both patients and doctors want the patient to be cured and happy, the approaches and dimensions of that objective are very different. In the contemporary system of health care, doctors want to see patients on the list, get their symptoms within the given timeframe, avoid any frictions and emotional attachments, give an appropriate diagnosis and send the paint to the next specialist for further tests or to write down a prescription. If the outcome is successful, then they can go to another patient if not they can prescribe a different set of tests and suggest a different treatment. In the end, for doctors, the outcome is not that crucial since they still do their job. From the instrumentalist perspective, it is not doctors’ responsibility to guarantee curing of one’s illness but to guarantee it treatment. This view on the doctors’ perspective might seem too ironic, yet it is not far from the truth. Being doctor nowadays is more about making money rather than demonstrating one’s care and sympathy. On the other hand, patients want to be treated individually with attention and care. They want to trust their doctors and be convinced that they want to cure them and not just fulfil their duty of listening to the general complaints.

Overall, from all mentioned above, it can be concluded that the relation between doctors and patients is characterised by mistrust for a very good reason – the difference of perspectives and motivations for the engagement in this relationship. Although it has various flaws, it is not entirely hopeless, if both doctors and patients could be more active in communicating with one another balancing professionalism and humanness.

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