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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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The MDs Are Off Their Pedestal

The MDs Are Off Their Pedestal

(p.165) Six The MDs Are Off Their Pedestal
Remaking the American Patient

Nancy Tomes

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the doctor's public image problem that arose during the Cold War era due to issues of cost, quality, and access. It first provides an overview of the expansion and modernization of the doctor's office in the 1940s and 1950s, driven in part by the rapid growth of its research base, and how this reorientation toward research transformed the culture of American medicine in general and medical education in particular. It then considers the ways that physicians courted patients and how patient-consumers learned to distinguish good care from bad. It also discusses the debate over unnecessary surgery in relation to the rising medical costs and concludes with ah assessment of the “crisis in American medicine” caused by a very expensive, uncoordinated system of health care.

Keywords:   public image, research, medicine, medical education, physicians, patients, patient-consumers, surgery, medical costs, health care

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