Currently, doctors are suffering from divided loyalties in treating patients. Patients require treatment that can alleviate the pain immediately as possible. but for doctors, they know that giving immediate treatments, like antibiotics or other drug treatments will not result in best outcome for patients themselves or for society as a whole either. However, with the new polices of doctors being evaluated by patient’s satisfaction, doctors cannot ignore the patient’s demand, which this kinds of conflicts with patients put doctors into position of divided loyalties.
In a paper written by a team of mathematicians and physicians from South Florida University, points out this kind of phenomenon as in accordance with Prisoner’s Dilemma. Prisoner’s dilemma is example of a game analyzed in game theory. It is a situation in which the outcome of choice depends not solely on the rational individual’s choice, but also on the choice individual is interacting with. When patient requires doctors to prescribe a drug for the treatment and when doctors accept the requirement they will gain patient’s satisfaction and also the reputation, and patient and doctor will both better-off. However payoff of both agreeing to use of drug will be worse than the payoff both not using the drug.
One of the author of the paper, Ioannidis, said that although government intended to initiate such health care system to cut costs and improve health, it would increase conflicts between patients and doctors which would eventually results in inefficiency of medical examination. To restore a trusty between doctors and patients, which originally had to be, alternative of current health care system seems desperate.
How the doctor-patient relationship has become a prisoner’s dilemma