The Relationship Between Health
Practitioner and Patient
The Doctor-Patient Relationship as a Social Issue and the Parallel
Role of Other Health Professionals
Problems in the Doctor—Patient Relationship
Structural Elements in the Patient—Health Practitioner Relationship
Elements of Interaction in the Doctor—Patient Relationship
as a Social Issue and the Parallel
Role of Other Health
The doctor—patient relationship, in order to be fully understood, must be viewed in the context of both micro and macro sociology. Micro in the understanding of the mechanisms which construct situations such as symbolic interaction, verbal exchanges, and perceptions of status and role; macro in the sense that each situation is embedded in a social, cultural context which lays out the interpretative and behavioral repertoires to which participants have recourse. The role of the health professional is no different from that of a doctor when interacting with a patient and is subject to the same criticisms and limitations.
What is in the relationship between health professionals and their patients that makes it the subject of such extensive discussion? On the most basic level, one may perceive this relationship as a professional interaction in which a qualified expert applies his expertise to help an individual who complains of physical discomfort.
Reality, however, is not so simple. If this were indeed the picture, we would not have to deal with the problem of non-compliance which is
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Publication information: Book title: The Person as Patient: Psychosocial Perspectives for the Health Care Professional. Contributors: Elsa Ramsden - Editor. Publisher: W. B. Saunders Co., Ltd.. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 197.
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