Letters Theme issue for patients

A picture tells a thousand words

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7412.448 (Published 21 August 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:448
  1. Rosetta Manaszewicz, steering committee member (rmanasz{at}optushome.com.au)
  1. Breast Cancer Action Group (Victoria), PO Box 381, Fairfield, Victoria 3078, Australia

    EDITOR–It's become a ritual. First thing every Friday morning I log onto the BMJ, anticipating some interesting feature, latest research news, and generally to keep myself informed. This morning, however, was a disaster. Smith talks of “patient partnership”–but what I saw smacks of paternalism and tokenism.1 I am not necessarily referring to the content.

    The 1ayout, design, and visuals are enough to confirm my point. Why does an issue for patients have to be adorned with huge headers, glossy pictures, and a delicate swirl of colour here and there? Is the assumption that patients' attention span is possibly less than that of a health professional, or that their eyesight is generally poorer, or that their intellectual interest will be attracted only via the visual? It is ironic that an issue claiming to spur on this collaborative and “equal” relationship between doctor and patient should so blatantly reinforce the stereotypical and assumed differences.

    Footnotes

    • Competing interests None declared.

    References

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