Complete 6 pages APA formatted article: Parsons and Freidsons Models. Conceptual models of the doctor-patient relationship used in sociological research reveal the influence of various methodological and theoretical models within medical sociology. This essay critically examines the doctor-patient relationship theories of Parsons and Freidson and determines whether their assumptions are still relevant today.
Until the mid-twentieth century, social scientists had paid little attention to the subject of the therapeutic relationship. It was Talcott Parsons, an American sociologist, who originally placed emphasis on medicine in his structural-functional perspective (Pescosolido, 2011). However, social scientists questioned the assumptions of structural-functional perspective. Freidson (1970 as cited in Gabe et al., 2004, p. 97) argued that it was hidden conflict, and not compromise, that distinguished doctor-patient relationship. He examined the different perspectives which patients and doctors held. He explained the lay knowledge of the disease and differentiated this with the clinical perspective of illness. Focus on the incompatible perspectives of professional and lay individuals also revealed the distinct cultural and social domains occupied by lay individuals.
Parsons views the therapeutic relationship as mutual where the patient and the physician have specific rights and responsibilities which are tied to their functions. In essence, the doctor-patient relationship is rooted in the role of each party (Bradby, 2008). The patient is expected to consult a doctor and to have faith in the doctor and believe that the doctor is a capable health care provider. On the other hand, the doctor is obliged to respond according to the health requirements of his/her patient. to keep his/her professionalism. to provide quality service, and to conform to principles of professional conduct. .