NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE IV—THE PHYSICIAN’S ROLE
The 1978 Marcus Welby, M.D. T.V. show sought to keep alive the image of the all powerful, all knowledgeable, affable, kind, helpful, godlike, male, warm, charming, handsome, white, and young oldster physician. But times had changed many things including Americans perceptions of doctors and doctoring. The taken as faith statement that America had “the best medical care” in the world was being replaced by the reality that America’s delivery of health services had become seriously compromised. Limited access, decreasing quality and consumer (patient) satisfaction, increasing and for many Americans unsustainable expense and the increasing awareness that the medical care received was in fact a growing cause of the illnesses, diseases and injuries experienced.
Yet, despite this change in perspective, there was still a reverence for the physician, alternatively blamed for our woes and adored and worshipped for the relief of pain and suffering.
Americans seeking all of the above and immediate access to care were finding that their demands and expectations contained a burden of omniscience which was too much to carry. In this admixture, CCHAS described the valuable but changing role that the physician would play in an organized system of delivery of health care services and programs.