The Norman Rockwell image of the American physician who fixed the broken arm of a child, treated the father for hypertension, and brought an unborn child into this world is now almost nonexistent. Since the time of the Rockwell portrait, a highly technical medical industry has evolved. Now two-thirds of physicians are board certified in subspecialties, and patients visit an average of 3–4 different physicians per year. Today's physicians see themselves less as “benevolent and wise counselors overseeing the patient's welfare and more as objective scientists applying the latest technical methods to bring about the desired end.” The intimate patient-physician relationship that was once the norm in our society is rapidly disappearing.
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