Do patients trust doctors to bring about health reform?

Patients still trust their doctors, despite what you may read in the newspapers and blogs.

Bob Doherty points to a recent survey, showing broad public support for comparative effectiveness research, indicating that voters “trust their doctors and consistently support changes to help their doctors do their jobs.”

Mr. Doherty interprets the findings to mean that organizations like his, namely, the American College of Physicians, still has significant influence on the debate.

I certainly hope so.

Shifting gears, it’s been awhile since I posted anything on malpractice, and I almost forgot what a firestorm it brings whenever the subject is broached. People are so entrenched on either side of the debate, it is unlikely that any data presented will sway anyone’s opinion on the matter.

Duncan Cross, however, responded on this blog with an interesting take. Even while agreeing with me that the current malpractice system treats injured patients poorly, he says, “Trial lawyers may be working from craven self-interest, but that self-interest is better aligned with patients’ interests on this issue . . . the malpractice system is a pretty lousy way to compensate patients for medical errors. But so far, it’s the only system, and the physician-approved legislative solutions are no better.”

The interest of trial lawyers are better aligned with patients’ interests than physicians?

I wonder if he really believes that, or if that’s his progressive ideology which inherently opposes the medical profession talking.

In any case, we’ll agree to disagree on that point. But why would some patients want to cling to the status quo, rather than to even explore, say, a no-fault malpractice system that has been shown in other countries to compensate patients much more quickly than we do here?

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