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The rising numbers of violent cases against medical professionals have become a concerning topic in China. The aim of this study was to find the deep roots of medical mistrust in China and how that finally leads to extreme cases against doctors i.e., violence. The paper provides multiple angles to investigate the problem of medical trust. I will look into the external and internal perspectives to see how these factors work together to shape how doctors and patients act and form. Failed transition to primary care, encouragement of the profit-oriented practices, the physical structure of the health institutions, and the power of adverse media will provide external perspectives to examine the issue of medical mistrust in a broader environmental context. Internal factors which include traditions like “red envelopes” and “guanxi cultural”, and communication patterns between doctors and patients exacerbated and escalated the misunderstanding and unhealthy doctor-patient relationship and finally led to an antagonistic position. The problem of medical mistrust significantly affects the doctor’s work performance because of the workload and uncooperative patients. And from the patient’s point of view, doctors and health institutions have suffered a spectacular fall from the profession and perceived as a blemished image because of the unsatisfying illness experiences. The paper hopes to raise policymakers’ awareness of this particular issue to address it from the roots and to change people’s stereotypical views and misconceptions about doctors.

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Medical Mistrust in China

Kamwai Fong

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