PETER M. SANDMAN, Ph.D.
Because the medical content of the mass media significantly affects public attitudes and behavior, physicians should participate more fully as critics and sources of that content. Attempts to sway audiences with medical information alone are often unsuccessful. Communication is more likely to be effective when it offers people something they want, such as satisfaction of a need or legitimation of an existing value. Except for advertising, the media seldom engineer their impact intentionally. Instead, the producers of news and entertainment rely heavily on sources, critics, and pressure groups outside the communications industry. By mastering the patterns of media impact and the rudiments of public relations, physicians can make the media a useful tool of medicine.
SANDMAN PM. Medicine and Mass Communication: An Agenda for Physicians. Ann Intern Med. ;85:378–383. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-85-3-378
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1976;85(3):378-383.
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