Doctor-patient relationship in the context of a changing society

Miriam Ines Siebzehner*, Chaya Balik, Andre Matalon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


During the 20th century doctors gained a special status in the medical system, which is about to change as a consequence of a change in the doctor-patient relationship and in the characteristics of the labor market in health care. Some changes correspond with the adoption of business terms within the medical system. The doctor is represented as a supplier of services, while the patient is a consumer. From patient-centered care, the doctor-patient relationship changed to a costumer-supplier of services, as is the case in other fields of the consumer society. This article analyzes the changes in the patterns of the doctor-patient interactions in the light of the changes in society over the last decades such as: the creation of regulations and laws on patients' rights the establishment of organizations that represent the sick, the distribution of knowledge and information by means of mass communication, changes in the status of the doctors, the academization of other health professionals and changes in the management of health care to a more financially viable approach to the costs of health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1015
Number of pages6
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Consumer society
  • Doctor-patient relationship
  • Doctors' status
  • Health markets
  • Patient centered care


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