How Is the Internet Changing Medical Knowledge and / or the Doctor- Patient Relationship

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Considering the course material and Beagon's 2001. "Even if I don’t know what I’m doing, I can make it look like I know what I’m doing": Becoming a doctor in the 1990s." Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology 38 (3) pp. 275-292. How is the internet changing medical knowledge and / or the doctor- patient relationship? What do you think the overall effects of this might be?

Introduction

The Internet has changed the way we live, and for many people, is a part of our everyday lives. We use it to communicate, for entertainment, do our banking, and as a tremendous resource for the access of all kinds of information. The amount of information available seems endless, and spans almost any conceivable topic, including medicine. As a result, this availability of information has changed dramatically how we use the medical profession, our views of it, and our relationships with the physicians we deal with.

The medical profession

The medical profession historically has seemed to always be a “closed-book”, reserved only for medical practitioners, who were held quite high by society for their knowledge in this area. After all, these were people who knew why we were feeling ill, and most of the time would make us feel better. No one ever questioned a doctor’s advice, or suggested that a doctor could be giving an incorrect diagnosis, or handling themselves in anything but a professional manner. This “doctors knows best” view, is maintained via the medical community itself, and the idea that doctors need to ensure that this continues to be the case starts in medical school. After starting their third year, medical students soon realize that even if they do not know all the answers, they must never let this be revealed. (SITE) Doctors rarely will criticize each other in front of patients, and it applies even to the extreme that many medical students and even other doctors will let violations of medical ethics and standards go unreported, as to not have...
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