We are often told to trust doctors and the healthcare system in general. But what guarantees that the doctor is so willing to help, especially if they are hired in a public system?

Just the fact that they studied, applied for and finally got the job as a doctor does not give the patients any guarantee whether the doctor always has best intentions for every patient.

  • Welcome to Health, Remus! I've edited your question to make the last paragraph more clear. Feel free to reject the edit or edit the question yourself. You might also want to visit the How to Ask page and take the tour. Finally, visit Medical Sciences Meta if you have questions about the site itself.
    – Narusan
    Aug 31, 2017 at 17:09
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on a Philosophy or Ethics type SE
    – DoctorWhom
    Sep 1, 2017 at 7:19
  • @DoctorWhom Agreed. Especially with my answer, it is more about Law and Ethics than Health.
    – Narusan
    Sep 1, 2017 at 17:07
  • 1
    Good question but I have to agree it belongs on another exchange.
    – Carey Gregory
    Sep 2, 2017 at 3:52

1 Answer 1


What guarantees that the doctor is willing to help, especially if they are hired in a public system?


In the end, the doctor with the perfect resume could end up killing you because for whatever reason.

However, you have this issue with any group of humans. How do you know your fellow teammate in sports will not choke you? How do you know your fellow soldier will not shoot you?

There are systems that prevent doctors from abusing their options:

  1. Law
    Obviously, killing someone will lead to persecution and possible conviction with different penalties depending on the legislation
  2. Employment.
    If a doctor messes up and it's solely their fault, chances are they are going to get fired and have a hard time (as in impossible in Germany, for example) to get employed again and will usually have their certificate revoked in the meantime.
  3. Reputation.
    Doctor have to make money. They have either themselves or a family to feed. If they do you harm, they are going to lose reputation and make less money
  4. Helper Syndrome.
    Those who care not that much about money usually become doctors because of the helper syndrome. They want to help other people. (That's why I'm answering your question here, as an example). They would not do you any harm because it goes against their ideals, and against the reason for why they became doctors in the first place.

What you can do

Doctors are humans (apart from the people who work 80 hour weeks and 3 24-hour shifts in a week, which I suppose are either vampires or zombies).

You can rely on common sense which will usually tell you whether you should trust that person. If you don't trust your doctor, change them. Trust is very important in a doctor-patient relationship.

If you feel bad or have fears, either confront the doctor directly, talk to someone else or make an appointment with a psychologist.

In the end

Doctors might be more scary because they know more about you and your body/health, but in the end the taxi driver around the corner could also kill you.

It's just a matter of reasonability. The health system has options implemented to make abuse more difficult, but it's possible.

Trust in your ability to judge other people and use it.

  • 1
    Fantastic post!
    – Mike-DHSc
    Sep 2, 2017 at 12:59

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