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How healthcare can regain trust

Updated: Feb 1

I've recently come across several posts on LinkedIn talking about how #healthcare and #publichealth can regain the trust of the public. Many carry the undertone of "We experts know, and the public doesn't. How do we convince them?"


If you are an expert and believe this view, I invite you to pause and think again. There are many areas of healthcare and public health that most experts are generally unwilling to publicly talk about with sufficient depth, including corruption in research, conflicts of interest at government agencies, problems in vaccine development, a lack of attention to the engines that actually help people heal, and more. If you are part of the healthcare or public health workforce, you know that public discussion of these topics with sufficient depth is taboo, because we believe they compromise trust. There is some truth to this, but I believe that view only kicks the can down the road.


Trust is already compromised. Not talking about it is taking a see no evil, hear no evil approach to problems most people know exist, but don't know how to address. We have a responsibility here–perhaps the core responsibility of our profession–to embrace this conversation. If we don't, how can we speak credibly to the public and hope to earn trust?


We can do better and we must. We must hold ourselves accountable for the state of healthcare and public health, even if not everything is in our hands.


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