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Paper Topic:

What evidence is there that the power of medical profession is in decline? Discuss with reference to one or two health care systems




19 December 2005


Healthcare 's huge body of knowledge is a major source of the industry 's power . Medical professionals have the power to start life , sustain life ease pain , or even prevent death . Such great power comes with great responsibilities (Raimi dir . 2002 : longer study , longer working hours continuous professional updates (Khayat 2001 , more demanding professional ethics and greater demand on professionalism

Perhaps , due to this great power , at least in the case

of doctors , they are perceived as arrogant by some patients . What the outsider-looking-in can also usually see are just the perks associated with the profession mainly due to higher compensation . The medical professional stereotype has a beautiful and spacious flat , fancy cars , designer clothes , Rolex watches , etc . These economic objects become status symbols that generally represent the profession 's great power in society

A different view likewise point to this highly privileged economic status as the source of the medical professional 's arrogance (Johnson 2005 ) rather than as a result of compensating the medical professional 's power over life and death . Again , this is another classic which-comes-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg phenomenon

However , what non-medical professionals cannot directly see are the countless hours of study , practise and deep concentration that medical professionals need to keep mistakes at zero level . Without a patient 's consent , a minor mistake is often not acceptable (Grubb ed 2004 Professional licenses can be revoked . Medical professionals can be sued for malpractise . They can go bankrupt . They can even cause several deaths that can lead to professional ruin or personal humiliation Obviously , the medical profession of today has one of the greatest risks and responsibilities among all other professions

We will assert that this intense mix of great power and great responsibilities affects healthcare policy and management . Moreover this very same premise can be related to the decline or achievement of new heights in the medical profession 's great power

Aside from presenting evidence on the decline of the medical profession 's power , we will also attempt to answer the question : Can the medical profession 's power decline in this time when medicine 's great body of knowledge continues to expand with continuous medical research constantly evolving diseases (Murray Lopez 1996 ) and exponential growth in the creation of new drugs

Baselines on Power

Nearly 16 of the overall US economy can be attributed to the Healthcare System . It is also responsible for nearly 25 of its annual growth . It triggers a considerable amount of technology and pharmaceutical development . The US spends nearly 2 Trillion on health care averaging around 6 ,700 per person (Phillips 2005

Hence , in terms of economics , the medical profession wields such great power and influence in American society . The people that depend on this industry could expect stronger representation in the political system And this is without regard if they actively participate in policy-making or not . US politicians have sufficient motivation to satisfy a great number of...

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