Hippocratic economics (the physician's dilemma)

William R. Reinus, John F. Reinus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The nature of the medical profession puts physicians in an unusual position. Patients seek out physicians' help because of their expertise in dealing with illnesses, possibly even life-threatening ones. The asymmetry of knowledge in this relationship, the expert physician and the inexpert patient, creates an ethical dilemma for physicians regarding the delivery of care. Physicians determine how much care to offer while receiving remuneration for this care. Here, acting as patients' agents, physicians have immense discretionary power not only with patients' health but also with their pocketbooks. Known as the principal-agency problem, this type of relationship is part and parcel of what business scholars refer to as moral hazard. This article explains the problem of moral hazard and how it affects radiologists and places it in the context of professional and ethical behavior. Its causes and relationship to human nature are explored. The consequences of falling prey to moral hazard in the practice of radiology are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-675
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Volume2
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Fingerprint

Economics
Physicians
Accidental Falls
Remuneration
Proxy
Radiology
Health

Keywords

  • Asymmetric information
  • Medical ethics
  • Moral hazard
  • Principal-agency problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

Cite this

Hippocratic economics (the physician's dilemma). / Reinus, William R.; Reinus, John F.

In: Journal of the American College of Radiology, Vol. 2, No. 8, 2005, p. 670-675.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{739d87648885467f98437df8862965a2,
title = "Hippocratic economics (the physician's dilemma)",
abstract = "The nature of the medical profession puts physicians in an unusual position. Patients seek out physicians' help because of their expertise in dealing with illnesses, possibly even life-threatening ones. The asymmetry of knowledge in this relationship, the expert physician and the inexpert patient, creates an ethical dilemma for physicians regarding the delivery of care. Physicians determine how much care to offer while receiving remuneration for this care. Here, acting as patients' agents, physicians have immense discretionary power not only with patients' health but also with their pocketbooks. Known as the principal-agency problem, this type of relationship is part and parcel of what business scholars refer to as moral hazard. This article explains the problem of moral hazard and how it affects radiologists and places it in the context of professional and ethical behavior. Its causes and relationship to human nature are explored. The consequences of falling prey to moral hazard in the practice of radiology are discussed.",
keywords = "Asymmetric information, Medical ethics, Moral hazard, Principal-agency problem",
author = "Reinus, {William R.} and Reinus, {John F.}",
year = "2005",
doi = "10.1016/j.jacr.2004.12.006",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "2",
pages = "670--675",
journal = "Journal of the American College of Radiology",
issn = "1558-349X",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",
number = "8",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Hippocratic economics (the physician's dilemma)

AU - Reinus, William R.

AU - Reinus, John F.

PY - 2005

Y1 - 2005

N2 - The nature of the medical profession puts physicians in an unusual position. Patients seek out physicians' help because of their expertise in dealing with illnesses, possibly even life-threatening ones. The asymmetry of knowledge in this relationship, the expert physician and the inexpert patient, creates an ethical dilemma for physicians regarding the delivery of care. Physicians determine how much care to offer while receiving remuneration for this care. Here, acting as patients' agents, physicians have immense discretionary power not only with patients' health but also with their pocketbooks. Known as the principal-agency problem, this type of relationship is part and parcel of what business scholars refer to as moral hazard. This article explains the problem of moral hazard and how it affects radiologists and places it in the context of professional and ethical behavior. Its causes and relationship to human nature are explored. The consequences of falling prey to moral hazard in the practice of radiology are discussed.

AB - The nature of the medical profession puts physicians in an unusual position. Patients seek out physicians' help because of their expertise in dealing with illnesses, possibly even life-threatening ones. The asymmetry of knowledge in this relationship, the expert physician and the inexpert patient, creates an ethical dilemma for physicians regarding the delivery of care. Physicians determine how much care to offer while receiving remuneration for this care. Here, acting as patients' agents, physicians have immense discretionary power not only with patients' health but also with their pocketbooks. Known as the principal-agency problem, this type of relationship is part and parcel of what business scholars refer to as moral hazard. This article explains the problem of moral hazard and how it affects radiologists and places it in the context of professional and ethical behavior. Its causes and relationship to human nature are explored. The consequences of falling prey to moral hazard in the practice of radiology are discussed.

KW - Asymmetric information

KW - Medical ethics

KW - Moral hazard

KW - Principal-agency problem

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84928096405&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84928096405&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jacr.2004.12.006

DO - 10.1016/j.jacr.2004.12.006

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84928096405

VL - 2

SP - 670

EP - 675

JO - Journal of the American College of Radiology

JF - Journal of the American College of Radiology

SN - 1558-349X

IS - 8

ER -