VIP syndrome’s downside: A hazard for patient and physician

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The treatment of comedienne Joan Rivers at a [b]Manhattan[/b] endoscopy clinic last month may be the latest example of what is known in the medical profession as ‘[b]VIP Syndrome[/b],’ in which famous or influential patients get special treatment. And surprisingly often, it is not for the best, reports [s]The New York Times[/s].

The term was described in a 1964 article by a psychiatrist, Dr Walter Weintraub who wrote, ‘the treatment of an influential man can be extremely hazardous for both patient and doctor.’ For doctors, he said, ‘the VIP, cursed with the touch of Midas, arouses only resentment and fear.’

Physicians, Weintraub wrote, tend to perceive VIP patients as demanding and manipulative and to resent them for it, which can diminish the quality of their care. For hospital administrators, on the other hand, he said, ‘The VIP is more than just a patient. He is also an object to be bartered for future favours.’

Full report in The New York Times

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