From doctors to patients – the transfer of power

The Talking Cure
There’s a revolution beginning in the practice of medicine, argues Bob Leckridge, a medical doctor who is working in Scotland. It’s about a shift in power which will change the way doctors work.

The traditional doctor-patient relationship is based on a doctor as the expert who knows best and a patient who will passively accept the doctor’s recommendations, whether that be a prescription or an operation or whatever. The power sits with the doctor and the patient often feels intimidated or unheard. The new way is patient-centred, another term which means different things to different people, but which usually includes giving a higher prioirty to the patient’s issues and wishes. […]

It’s going to shift health care into collaborative relationships which focus on the needs, experiences and wishes of individual patients. This represents a huge challenge to the command and control, expert knows best, model of passive patients who are told what to do by others who claim to know better than the patient what will make their life better.

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