July 2017

Experts viewing science through the lens of laypersons

There is an old cliché which states, doctors, make the worse patients. The movie, The Doctor, is a great illustration of the cliché. Although this is a fiction movie, the plot of the movie highlights reality when a experts lose their power.

Plot of the Movie –  The Doctor

Dr. McKee is a self-center surgeon with equally bad bedside manner. His life is great, and he knows it until one day he comes face to face with an illness. Dr. McKee receives a diagnosis of throat cancer, and now he is a patient. Dr. McKee now undergoes cancer treatment in the same hospital where he works. Now, Dr. McKee gets an experience like any normal patient, and he doesn’t like it. He doesn’t receive any special accommodations as a doctor in the hospital. Instead, he gains the experience as norm patient without an affiliation to the hospital.

By the end of this journey, Dr. McKee personality and morals change. He understands how he and his colleagues had dehumanizing patients. with his new insight on life, Dr. McKee changed from treating illness to practicing medicine for treating human beings with illnesses.

As a subplot in the movie

Prior to becoming a patient, Dr. McKee planned to help a fellow surgeon’s defense against malpractice with a well collaborative testimony.


Relating the Plot of the Movie to our Class

When an expert is stripped of their power, the expert can view the public through a different lens. The former-expert lens changes from that of an expert to a lens of a layperson. With the lens of a layperson, the former expert can now experience scientific politics as a person without power. With the lens of a layperson, the former expert becomes armed with the knowledge of a layperson which helps establish the former expert as an influential leader of a social movement or counterpublics.

In the movie, Dr. McKee was stripped of his power as an expert while undergoing treatment as a patient. Dr. McKee felt dehumanized. During his time as a person without power, Dr. McKee began a moral transformation. He understood the life of people that were not experts.

As an example:

Dr. McKee new insight about the relationship between patients and doctors influence a change in his own behavior as a doctor and influence his position about the testimony for his fellow surgeon. Now , Dr. McKee practices medicine with a moral obligation to his patients

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