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Lack of Autonomy and Respect Devalue Doctors’ Standing

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 25 Apr 2016
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A new study reveals that while physicians in the United States feel that their profession is in conflict with changing healthcare dynamics, 32% of young Americans think they could be doctors with little or no training.

The “Truth About Doctors” study involved interviews with 450 doctors across the US, in addition to an update of consumer survey information gleaned from the McCann “Truth About Wellness” study. The study, jointly conducted by McCann Health (New York, NY, USA) and McCann Truth Central (New York, NY, USA), found that the pressures of today's world have not only stolen time and autonomy from doctors, but have simultaneously demanded they do more on someone else's agenda.

Demographically, 30% of the doctors surveyed were actively employed in primary care, and 70% were specialists; 45% of the respondents were female and 55% male. A majority (51%) of the doctors selected frustration as the dominant emotion governing their professional life, followed by anxiety (39%). One of the major frustrations cited were patients who diagnose themselves on websites such as WebMD, which according to the doctors, result in 74% of them misdiagnosing themselves; 57% also said that patients do not take the doctor’s advice because they think they know better.

“Modern-day doctors have become trapped in a paradoxical standard where they're expected to forge a warm relationship with patients, yet operate with the cold precision of a machine,” said study coauthor Laura Simpson, executive VP and global director of McCann Truth Central. “In our real-time, know-it-all culture, their authority and respect are eroding right under their feet. Advancing technology and the evolving healthcare system will redefine ‘doctorness’ in the next decade.”

“While patient empowerment and transparency in healthcare are good things, they can sometimes be at odds,” said Amar Urhekar, President of McCann Health Americas. “The insights from our ‘Truth About Doctors’ study suggest that a major paradigm shift is needed in the way healthcare stakeholders communicate with doctors in order to achieve better results. As communications experts, we must begin to create value-based messaging that supports doctors beyond the traditional brand story.”

Related Links:
McCann Health
McCann Truth Central

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