Smart Patients and the End of the Marcus Welby Era

In their book, YOU The Smart Patient, Michael F. Rozien, M.D., and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., write about the “Marcus Welby era … when physicians were seen as supreme authorities.”  Those days are over, they believe, and I find this to be true as well. Sure, some of the older generation still see physicians as all-knowing, and they are willing to tolerate a non-service oriented practice.  However, our booming younger population comes with an entirely different mentality.  These “Smart Patients” or pro-sumers come to their appointments armed with information they’ve gathered from the Internet (some accurate, some not), and they demand answers and service like never before. I know some practices may find this troubling.  But isn’t this what we all really want?  Patients engaged in their health and proactively working with their doctor to resolve issues. Sometimes the end of an old era is really the beginning of a better one as long as you are willing to grow and embrace it.