In Dr. Brent Williams’ case study “A Day in the Sleep Clinic” he is faced with several instances in which his behavior affected the medical decisions made by parents that could have an impact on the child’s health. In his interaction with his first patient, Johnny Reese he also makes sure to positively engage the parent as well as the patient. He comforts the parent and allows her to relax by speaking about a neutral subject that they both find enjoyable. By putting her at ease she feels comfortable relating issues of stress in her own life that also affect’s Johnny’s condition (“a day in the..,”). If the doctor had not put her at ease and gained her trust she would not have relayed this information that allowed the doctor to understand the challenges faced by this family and give her the proper information to help her cope.
In the doctor’s second case the doctor stereotypes the patient before ever entering the room. Based on her race he already assumes that they are unable to afford medical care and will have to rely on Medicaid (“a day in the..,”). He also decides that based on their culture they must be superstitious and passes judgment on their religion to their face. This could negatively impact the care given to the child as the doctor doesn’t offer treatments he feels would not be covered by Medicaid. If he continues to make the patients feel uncomfortable and judged, they might not return for further treatment.
In the doctor’s third case, he is feeling very rushed and behind schedule. His constant pacing and rushing of the patients could lead them to feel uneasy. He discourages them to pursue treatment merely because he doesn’t want to fall farther behind schedule. He also made a cultural faux paus with his behavior (“a day in the..,”). He ignores the mother’s concerns about medication and even goes so far as to accuse her of abuse because she doesn’t want to give the medication. This could negatively impact the treatment plan.
Culture, race, and ethnicity all played a role in how the doctor treated these children and their parents. For example he made negative cultural stereotypes with the Caribbean family by assuming they couldn’t afford treatment. He also made negative comments about their religion and that of the third family. On the third case he also made himself appear rude by being in a rush, in Vietnam this is considered highly offensive. The doctor’s judgment based on their cultures caused them to feel uncomfortable and not wish to pursue interaction with this doctor.
Other factors could have also impacted the decisions made by the patient’s parents. For example, the fact that the second family were new immigrants and did not yet have their green card meant that they could not pursue government aid. This could affect what forms of treatment they can afford in the future. In the first case, factors at home obviously could impact the treatment, stress and chaos could mean that the child does not receive the proper care(Aiger, 2010).
In conclusion, this doctor really needs to re-evaluate his behaviors to insure that he doesn’t negatively impact the decisions made by these parents (Am J., 2001). Currently he is being rude, racist, and judgmental. The office should evaluate this doctor and give him a warning to change his behaviors(Am J., 2001).
A Day in the Sleep Clinic. (n.d.). Index of /. Retrieved January 7, 2013, from
Aiger, A. (2010, June 8). The normal child behavior for a seven year old. Retrieved from