Friday, January 20, 2006

Why doctors and patients are worlds apart

Why doctors and patients are worlds apart: "Popper's model of worlds 1, 2, and 3 provides a way to understand differences in physician-patient expectations. According to Popper, world 1 is the world of material objects, world 2 is the inner world of each individual's private thoughts, experiences, and beliefs, and world 3 is the world of concepts, theories, and objective knowledge. As Little points out, clinicians and patients are often worlds apart. Patients, who experience illness in a personal way in world 2, are expected to present and discuss their medical problems in worlds 1 or 3. 'Yet clinicians will try to objectify symptoms, questioning patients about their attributes -- severity, site, radiation, periodicity, and relief. Clinicians examine the (patient's) personal experience as a semi-concrete object in world 1 with criteria and rules and theories evolved in world 3.'"

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