Narrative as an Aid for the Doctor-Patient Relationship in China

In recent years, the incidence of violence against Chinese doctors has increased dramatically, with the scale, frequency and viciousness of attacks shocking the world. The challenging doctor-patient relationship remains a complicated issue with no single cause. When the tension intensifies, some news media tend to blame the doctors, using misleading narratives to create sensationalism, thereby aggravating the antagonism between the society and medical professionals. Much scholarship has focused on exploring the social, economic, political, legal, and medical aspects of the doctor- patient relationship. In contrast, little research has been done to interrogate the media’s role in contributing to the tension. Additionally, although most studies are concerned with proposing suggestions, no study has posed an intervention to combat the twisted depictions of doctors and to abate the worsening doctor-patient tension. To this end, this thesis examines the role of the media to provide an explanatory analysis of its influence on the doctor-patient relationship, and then leverages on the power of narrative to offer an intervention as an aid to the current doctor-patient tension. User feedback has been collected and analyzed to measure the effectiveness of this project. The aim of this intervention is to help promote perspective taking, increase awareness, and foster understanding toward medical professionals in China.


About Yao Tong

Yao Tong graduated from the University of Michigan, double majoring in Communication Studies and Economics. Growing up in Beijing, Yao took a particular interest in the complex interplay between political, economic, and cultural contexts impacting new media in Asia. Most recently, she interned at China Central Television (CCTV) as a director assistant, where her tasks involved coming up with an effective propagation strategy in the face of the continuous mediocre television ratings. To delve deeper, Yao conducted an independent research project on microblogging services in China and revealed substantial insights on how cultural and social factors dictate the way Chinese people communicate online. In her spare time, Yao is an ardent jazz music lover and an enthusiastic pianist in chamber music groups on campus. She swims every day to keep fit, and loves to go to BSO (Boston Symphony Orchestra) to admire her favorite musicians such as Evgeny Kissin and Anna Netrebko. Thesis: Narrative as an Aid for the Doctor-Patient Relationship in China


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