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Remaking the American PatientHow Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers$
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Nancy Tomes

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622774

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622774.001.0001

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Get Ready for a New Breed of Patients

Get Ready for a New Breed of Patients

(p.287) Nine Get Ready for a New Breed of Patients
Remaking the American Patient

Nancy Tomes

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on the new breed of patients whose complaints proved difficult to ignore by physicians. The demands made by the new breed of patients had plenty of precedent. Previous generations of patient critics had also asked for more information about the cost, value, and risks of proposed treatments as well as for more respect as the doctor's partner. In addition to the ferocity of the patient revolt, what was different this time around was the political climate in which it occurred. Among those converted to the reasonableness of patients' requests for information or consultation were political leaders, who began to realize the benefits of endorsing some facets of medical consumerism. This chapter first considers Americans' attitudes toward the medical profession before turning to consumer protection in the Watergate era. It then examines the quest for more reliable measures capable of distinguishing good from bad treatment. Finally, it discusses the principle that patient-consumers had a right to more information and choice when shopping for medicine.

Keywords:   patients, physicians, requests for information, medical consumerism, consumer protection, treatment, patient-consumers

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