More than ever, patients have become the keeper of their own medical treatment. With the explosion of information architecture via the internet, people can find out information that discusses medical diagnoses. They may be able to access their medical chart directly from a web portal. I often see women for an initial consultation who already know the incisions for a breast lift and implants they are interested in using. In a capitalist driven system, patients are savvy consumers of healthcare. So are doctors merely technicians?
A balanced approach is best. With information overload, clarity comes from building a doctor patient relationship of trust and understanding. When I meet a patient for the first time, there is a person before me, not a diagnosis. I try to understand how their concern fits into their life, and how the person fits into their surroundings. Once this has happened, then the medical treatment seems quite clear. Humanity is the core of medicine.