Who is right : doctor vs patient ? | by Karthik | Nov, 2021


In my opinion, both are right

Medicine is complex and what is right is a highly contextual. Evidence based medicine is not a negation of lived experience. In fact, that’s why it’s now called evidence informed medicine. Doctors attempt to bring clarity and objectivity to the table. This doesn’t mean we reject any patient experience that we cannot explain.

Where there is a difference between the map ( evidence) and the terrain (lived experience), we trust the terrain. But we don’t throw the map yet – because the map shows not just the way, but also the locations of potholes. So much about the evidence maps, but who is the driver? It depends – if the road is clear, doctors drive – so we can get to the desired location efficiently. In rare manifestations of rare diseases, the road is foggy. At times we let the patient drive – while we carefully watch the map for dangers ahead.

Medicine is thus a collaborative, compassionate, trust based endeavour. It doesn’t easily lend itself to boiler plate templates or easy rules. Unfortunately the steady erosion of trust in the doctor-patient relationship is one of the greatest tragedies of our times.

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