Prescriptive Power?

Benjamin P. Taylor
2 min readJan 30, 2024

A Doctor is one of the closest things to a King or Queen we encounter in UK public services. How much power do you think they actually have?

Join the discussion on LinkedIn: What do you think are the implications for #publicservices?

To see my doctor, I have to petition him — find a way to reach his courtiers.
If my case is good enough, I’m given a time at his discretion, in his visiting hours.
I present myself to his guards, with my proper papers.
I must be on time, or I forfeit my opportunity!
I attend upon his pleasure in ‘the waiting room’.
At a certain point — perhaps on time, perhaps late — my name is called, and I proceed to his antechamber, knock, and am granted entry.
I sit on the humble chair before his throne of power — he consults the oracle of all worldly things (the computer).

and I can petition him with my woes.

Can you think of a modern ritual so perfectly set up to mimic seeking an audience with the King — or at least, a local Duke or something?

Most of the time, modern medicine being what it is, I’m given a prescription — medicine that will hopefully alleviate my symptoms, or even make me well again.

So, with all of this symbolism and power and pomp, when I am given the medication, the thing that will save me… what proportion of prescriptions handed out do you think are filled at the pharmacy, taken, taken properly with attention to the instructions, and taken to their full course?

What do you think are the implications for #publicservices?