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Partha Kar: Rebalancing society’s perceptions

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 15 April 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1776
  1. Partha Kar, consultant in diabetes and endocrinology
  1. Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  1. drparthakar{at}
    Follow Partha on Twitter: @parthaskar

It’s a fascinating dichotomy: is a doctor a god or a servant? Colleagues talk about “all powerful” doctors of the past—who knew everyone, who blew people away with their knowledge, skills, and arrogance. They were healers, they told patients what to do, and patients did what they said. They told nurses what to do, and it happened. This perception, which led some patients to put doctors on a pedestal, was built up by years of media portrayals and, perhaps, bluster and self aggrandisation by doctors themselves.

But times changed, and the world changed. Patients found their voice—quite rightly, too. They became more inquisitive about their care, and they tried to find out more about …

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