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Manasvini Singh, PhD │ CHIBE X LDI Research Seminar

September 22 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Power Dynamics in the Doctor-Patient Relationship

with Manasvini Singh, PhD, Assistant Professor of Health Economics | University of Massachusetts Amherst.

12:00p.m. – 1:00p.m. ET | September 22, 2022  |  In-Person Event

Colonial Penn Center Auditorium, 3641 Locust Walk

Register at: https://share.hsforms.com/1OAgUi8w7RBS3jezwG7dS2Q5gwp1

Power, broadly defined as the asymmetric control of resources, affects nearly all individual decision making. Yet there is little observational evidence on how power affects real-world behavior and resource allocation. Understanding such power dynamics is especially important in health care, where “powerful” physicians make decisions for patients in highly asymmetric information environments. To examine this question, we exploit the plausibly exogenous assignment of patients to physicians in U.S. military hospital emergency departments. Using the difference in military ranks between doctor and patient as a proxy for the power imbalance between them, we show that physician effort and resource use increases with the patient’s relative seniority. Furthermore, within-physician effort is significantly less for patients about to be promoted vs. those recently promoted to a given rank. We document other interesting effects such as the “power spillover”: when a physician attends to a higher-ranked patient, they concurrently decrease effort for their lower-ranked patients. Taken together, we conclude that the magnitude of the power imbalance in the doctor-patient relationship nontrivially affects patient care, and should be especially considered when making critical clinical decisions for vulnerable patients.

Requirements for Events Attendance

Boxed lunches will be provided for in-person attendees. The following requirements will apply to this event:

  • All attendees must follow Penn’s current public health guidance.
  • Requirements may change prior to or on the day of the event.


September 22
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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Colonial Penn Center Auditorium
3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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