The Making of the Modern Patient
DOI link for The Making of the Modern Patient
The Making of the Modern Patient book
T he modern patient had two defining characteristics: a greater sensitivity to the body’s internal state and an implicit confidence in the doctor, not just as a conduit of drugs but as a healer. This first characteristic, the patient’s new alertness to his body, arose early in the nineteenth century, perhaps even sooner among the upper classes, and was quite independent of any changes in medicine. The second characteristic, the modern patient’s confidence that “science” could cure, was a direct consequence of the changes in medical practice we saw in the previous chapter. Both these new attributes resulted in a very different kind of doctor-patient relationship, one marked by the patient’s willingness to accept “medical authority.” It was a relationship that would start to unravel in the 1960s.