Patient Perception in Quality of Health Care in Civilian and Military Hospitals

Rodolfo G Garza, University of Texas at El Paso


The purpose of this research is to examine and relate Erving Goffman’s theory and concept of total institution to the perceived experienced quality of health care that occurs in the treatment of patients, in both preoperative and postoperative surgical procedures, at civilian and military hospitals. Goffman argues that there is a distinct relationship between the medical staff and patients at the hospitals. The staff most often feels superior and correct in their actions, while the patients perceive themselves as weak, inferior, and defenseless. In my thesis, I use a qualitative method approach to determine how veteran patients perceive their quality of health care at both civilian and military hospitals, and to see to what extent they align with Goffman’s total institution concept. The research study limits will encompass mainly civilian and military hospital centers that are entrusted to the care and hospitalization of military service members and their dependents. The population consisted of twenty interviewees that were military affiliated, to include dependents, between the ages of 18-70 years of age. The study is important because it is relevant in terms of the United States general population getting older, and therefore, the requirement is greater for a healthcare system that will mean more provider/patient interactions. Also, there is a greater need for an expanded U.S. Military Health System (MHS) because the number of military beneficiaries has increased tremendously.

Subject Area

Sociology|Public health|Surgery|Public Health Education|Health sciences|Military studies|Health care management

Recommended Citation

Garza, Rodolfo G, "Patient Perception in Quality of Health Care in Civilian and Military Hospitals" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI22618229.