Benjamin P. Taylor
1 min readJan 31, 2024


I should have realised how this would be taken as a complaint against doctors (it's not really!) and how it was focused.

However, my intended point is to emphasise the power and symbolism of the doctor-patient relationship and the act of 'giving the prescription' - truly the cloak of the expert doesn't get bigger and more impressive!

Perhaps the symbolism fo the 'giving' is almost *too* strong - and in some cases replaces the actual taking of the medicine and the self-care needed in the Poor Sick Miserable Person's mind?

In any case - if we think we have power in public services - look at this:

Combining studied attrition rates for medical adherence in a hypothetical model, starting with 100 prescriptions:

- 20-30 are never filled (say 75 left)

- Of the 70-80 filled, 7-16 are not taken at all. (say 63 left)

- Of the 54-73 who do take the medication, 27-37 are taking it incorrectly. (say 31 left)

- Of those, 13-19 do not complete the full course.

So perhaps 15% of patients follow this grand God-like authority to the full!

[NB based on cited, published papers but NOT good science, indicative]

We in public services *never* have the power per se - it's people in their (our) lives who have to make the difference.