Doctor-Patient Interaction

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Doctor-Patient Interaction

Doctor-patient interaction is a clear relationship between a physician and his patient. Through this relationship, they can convey information to each other quickly. There are various types of doctor-patient interaction.

Paternalism. It is is a more traditional type of doctor-patient interaction. Here the physician’s point of view is more dominant than that of the patient (Thompson, G. A., & Whiffen, L. H. 2018). The patient says less and puts all his trust as pertains sickness, diagnosis, and treatment on the doctor. It is advantageous where a patient may be too ill to express themselves. The patient may, however, be denied their freedom and responsibilities and this is because they are subordinate to the doctor. I can relate to this type of interaction. The doctor only asks a few questions and without even carrying out any tests concludes the kind of illness I have and prescribes medication.

Consumerism. It is as a type of doctor-patient interaction promotes patient empowerment and participation in decision making. The patient here assumes a more active role, and the doctor is more laid back (Haug MR, Levin, B ). They hold strong opinions that lack a medical or scientific background which in turn makes the doctor feel disrespected. In consumerism,  the patient and the doctor may clash which causes tension and brings negativity to both parties. It is, however, useful because the patient feels more satisfied because he has participated.

Mutuality. Here, the patient and physician participate and make decisions equally. The patient can freely express themselves. If they feel their expectations are not being met then they are free to look for services elsewhere. The doctor can also withdraw services if they think that they cannot meet the demands of the patient. The mutuality and respect between the doctor and the patient is highly valued in this type of doctor-patient interaction.


Limited communication resources. Health communication promotes information about health through campaigns and directly to the patient from the doctor. When the funds are limited,  then it poses a challenge. The information provided will not be quality,  or there will be no information at all. A person from a higher class can easily access information because they have resources, as compared to a poor person. Also in some societies, men and women are not considered as equals (Pierotti, R. S., Lake, M., & Lewis, C. 2018). It means men have more control over resources and they will access information that women will not.

Technology. In this day and age technology has become the number one source of information. It has changed the lives of patients and their families significantly. Access to information has been made easier (Wass, S., & Vimarlund, V. 2018). A person can look for symptoms of a disease and medication through their phone. This has however taken over the work of health communicators. Technology is not available to everybody. The rich can easily access information because they can afford smartphones and computers. Research done by the University of Illinois suggests that blacks and Hispanics are less likely to use technology for health-related reasons as compared to whites. It was after checking education and demographic characteristics

In my views, schools should make teaching computer as mandatory to all students. The community should embrace one another to do away with racism. Also,  healthcare centers should make it an initiative to make health information easily accessible to the community.




Cockerham, William C. (2015). Medical Sociology. Routledge


Ross, Anamaria Iosif (2012). The Anthropology of Alternative Medicine. Berg/Bloomsbury.


Rubinelli, S., Silverman, J., Aelbrecht, K., Deveugele, M., Finset, A., Humphris, G., … & van Weel-Baumgarten, E. (2019). Developing the International Association for Communication in Healthcare (EACH) to address current challenges of health communication. Patient education and counseling.