POINT/COUNTERPOINT: Doctors – Who Needs ‘Em?


This post is part of a series of point/counterpoint arguments proposed by different members of the Pixels & Pills staff. Were strong believers that healthy arguments can yield the best solutions, and we hope that you enjoy our series. Feel free to add your own arguments in the comments section below!

by Jason Brandt (@jasondmg3)

Yesterday you read one of our well-known “Point/Counterpoint arguments – this one, from my colleague Krissy, a client strategist specializing in life sciences, discussing physicians and how they fit in to todays world. After over a decade in pharmaceutical advertising, Krissy knows of what she speaks. And shes using a lot of very popular arguments.

But Im still going to disagree with her opinion on whether doctors arebecoming obsolete.

As educated as consumers can be, as ubiquitous as technology connecting us to information can be, as much as our abilities to find and digest information have been expanded

And as deeply as we care about our own health, as much as we need to be our own advocates, as much as we cant rely on another person to make all our decisions for us

We still need experts.

You depend on a mechanic to take care of a car you love. You depend on a great school to give your kids a quality education. You depend on your attorney to negotiate the mire of legalities in many big life changes.

Although, yes, more than a hundred medical schools in the United States churn out more than 25,000 new MDs every year and not every one of these is going to be stellar. And yes, its up to you to be involved and informed. And yes, there are cases where people do manage their own health alone (or repair their own cars, or home-school their kids, or defend themselves in court) and everything turns out great.

But your health and that of your family is the most important thing you have guardianship over. Feeling daring and independent? Take your chances with a new restaurant or a wacky new pair of argyle socks. Learn to brew your own beer or something.

When it comes to the complexities of life – particularly the life-and-death ones – we need experts. We need people who have learned the theory, the history, the arguments, the logic. We need people who have done the procedure dozens of times. We need a combination of a philosopher, and a fine artist, a theologian and a carpenter, a plumber and a psychic, a seamstress and a magician.

Its natural to distrust those in whom you are in a negative power relationship. Im never going know as much as the person managing my estate or selling me a car or taking care of my health, so our culture naturally tells jokes with lawyers and car salesmen and doctors as the punch lines. But when push comes to shove – especially literally – we need their expertise.

The old school of medicine needs pruning and reshaping, certainly. But to imply that people can seriously consider their medical care team complete without a core professional (who, by the way, could be a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant, as well as being an MD or a DO) – well, in my opinion, that isnt just unrealistic, its irresponsible. My health is worth more than that to me, and I hope yours is to you too.



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