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The Doctor-patient Conflicts, the Drift of Opinions, and the Doctor Collective Reputation
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TitleThe Doctor-patient Conflicts, the Drift of Opinions, and the Doctor Collective Reputation  
AuthorCai Dongling, Zhang Yilin and Gong Qiang  
OrganizationSouthwestern University of Finance and Economics; 
Key WordsDoctor-patient Conflict; Collective Reputation; Defensive Medical; the Drift of Opinions; Government Credibility 
AbstractAs doctors occupy absolute of information and professional advantage in the process of providing medical services, so in the event of medical conflict, the media and public often blames doctors from the view of “presumption of guilt”, hoping to protect patients and prevent moral hazard of the doctor. This paper focuses on the doctor-patient conflicts from the perspective of collective reputation, and finds that guilty presumption is an important cause of rising doctor-patient conflict. Specifically, this paper shows that due to the uncertainty of medical service, doctors’ good collective reputation is the necessary premise that patient trusts doctor. Under the environment of presumption of guilt, the collective reputation and credibility of the doctors are highly susceptible to “stigmatized” comments, resulting in more and more patients losing faith in the doctor, and therefore, doctor-patient conflict caused by lack of trust is inevitable. More seriously, as the doctor-patient conflicts intensified, and the presumption of guilt is rigid thinking, doctors have to rely on defensive medicine, like excessive check, for self-protection, which further causes the loss of the collective reputation of doctors. Finally, medical market falls into the vicious circle where doctors’ collective reputation drops, and both patients and doctor are ware of each other. The policy implication of the paper is that the key to relieve doctor-patient conflicts is to enhancing the government’s credibility in the process of settling medical disputes. Only when both patients and doctors believe their rights can be maintenance justly, can medical market form win-win equilibrium where patients “dare to” trust doctors, and doctors “are able to” focus on serving patients, and the public welfare in the medical profession can give full play. 
Serial NumberWP1083 
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