September 20, 1971

Patient and Physician

Author Affiliations

Abington, Pa

JAMA. 1971;217(12):1706. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190120072027

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


To the Editor.—  What has happened to the patient and the physician?As I look over the articles in this journal and others, including nonmedical publications, regarding health programs, I can only find health-care provider and health-care consumer.I remember the days when I was considered a customer in the local stores. Suddenly, I became an impersonal consumer, something to be dealt with by number. I rationalized this by saying that, at least in my own area, my patients will always be patients, and now I find that this sanctity is being threatened also. I cannot see that any good has come from my being a consumer, and I am quite sure that no good will come from patients being considered consumers.At a time when the youth of our country is protesting dehumanization, it seems that this same process is seeking one of the last strongholds of a humanistic