IN THE not too distant past, the popular public attitude toward physicians was one of respect bordering on reverence. The individual physician's reputation was enhanced by his association with the medical profession at large. Today a physician may still build a fine personal reputation—but it is in spite of current public opinion of the medical community.
Physicians are suffering from a tarnished image. This may seem a frivolous concern compared with the weightier health care issues that are part of our national dialogue. But image is a serious matter and may, in fact, be at the root of many of the profession's legislative woes.
The shift in consumer attitudes toward the medical profession has been dramatic. But why has the trend developed, and can it be reversed? Although other variables have played their part, the overriding reason for the change has been that physicians have stopped communicating. The obvious remedy