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The Roles of Patient Managers and Their Implications for Medical Ethics: An Ethnographic Study of a Plastic Surgery Clinic

LEEM SO YEON 1

1한양대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork at a plastic surgery clinic, this article shows that non-medical professionals called “patient managers” have played mediating roles between patients and doctors and possibly challenged medical ethics and authorities. Unlike previous social studies of plastic surgery, rather than simply criticizing the unethical aspects of the private medical market, this study starts from their realities and considers them as resources for medical ethics. By taking the roles of non-medical professionals into both ethical and educational consideration, this study supplements current medical ethics, which is mainly concerned with medical professionals, and extends medical ethics education to include more common problems faced by patients. This study is a preliminary attempt to draw ethical implications from social studies of medicine. It demonstrates that medical ethics is a concern, not only for physicians, but for multiple agents including non-medical professionals. This kind of interdisciplinary approach can thus contribute to improving both the effectiveness of medical ethics and the social perception of doctors and medicine.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.