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Viewpoint |

The McDonaldization of Medicine

E. Ray Dorsey, MD, MBA1; George Ritzer, PhD, MBA2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Neurology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York
2Department of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park
JAMA Neurol. 2016;73(1):15-16. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.3449.
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This Viewpoint discusses the consequences of applying the principles of the fast-food restaurant—efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control—to medicine.

As put forth in The McDonaldization of Society, “the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society,”1 including medicine (Table). While designed to produce a rational system, the 4 basic principles of McDonaldization—efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control—often lead to adverse consequences. Without measures to counter McDonaldization, medicine’s most cherished and defining values including care for the individual and meaningful patient-physician relationships will be threatened.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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I am a better doctor
Posted on February 19, 2016
Giovanni B Frisoni
Geneva University Hospitals
Conflict of Interest: None
The arguments are touching and the close is a zenith: \"number of lives touched, minds stimulated, and hearts moved\". In my first professional life I have met too many doctors who scorned protocols, guidelines, scales, questionnaires, checklists, templates... in the name of their empathy with patients, but ignored modern nosography, basic pharmacology, and fundamentals of rehabilitation.

The Macdonaldisation of medicine protects patients from well meaning but ignorant doctors who believe they are better doctors only thanks to empathy. Mindfulness of resources and use of protocols, guidelines, scales... lets you cure many more patients and touch many more lives than in unregulated environment. If by chance you also have have a genuine interest in your patients as persons you will also stimulate many more minds, and move many more hearts.
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