Home > healthcare > Why do Brits apparently want doctors to just tell them what to do?

Why do Brits apparently want doctors to just tell them what to do?

I was perusing Deloitte’s Global 2010 Survey of Health Care Consumers: Cross-Country Report (H/T @ritters90) the other day, and one finding in particular leapt out at me (see p.15):

Consumers, especially in the US, Canada and UK, prefer primary care physicians who are prescriptive in their approaches. British consumers state the highest preference for physicians who act as a medical authority (44%), who directs them to take what he/she believes is the best approach based on their own expertise, compared to 22% of Swiss and French consumers (lowest).

Personally, my preference is for what people on the continent seem to want – namely a doctor “who acts as a health coach [and] provides guidance and information needed for consumers to make their own decisions“. In an age where vast amounts of information is available online on pretty much every medical condition, the role of the doctor as some sort of authority figure who does not engage with the patient is overdue for retirement.

Yet clearly, this is not the opinion of the majority of my peers in the UK. Why is this? Would you blindly take the advice of an estate agent when considering whether to take a massive mortgage on a house? Would you consider accepting the simple recommendation of the car salesman on which of his cars to buy after walking into a showroom? No? Then why the blind faith in physicians?

Obviously, the analogies above are extreme, but I hope my point is made? Overall, I think that this is one of the perspectives on life in general that people on the continent have that should be adopted over here as soon as possible!

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Categories: healthcare
  1. 2011-03-12 at 21:43

    >Interesting stats! I'm equally worried about the vast amounts of misinformation available online and consumers' inability to sort out bunk from things that might actually work. I hear Brits are particularly fond of homeopathy đŸ˜› Surely, education and critical thinking would help, but that might be another unicorn :/Antti

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