Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 313–320 | Cite as

Ethnography and the Making of Modern Health Professionals

  • Vincanne Adams
  • Sharon R. Kaufman

…it is particularly incumbent on physicians in this time of instability and change to concern themselves with medicine in its largest social sense – with that part of medicine that cannot be construed in terms of laboratory findings and standard protocols alone. To be a medical citizen is to concern oneself both with the realm of politics and social justice and with clinical judgment.

—Charles Rosenberg, Our Present Complaint: American Medicine Then and Now

Charles Rosenberg’s call to arms for the training of health professionals as optimal medical citizens—concerned with politics, social justice and clinical judgment—recalls a long history of social science engagement with the socio-economic and political sources and contexts of medical practice (Rosenberg 2007). Social scientists equipped with ethnographic and analytical insights have offered critiques from “the outside” for years, noting how biomedicine engages, knowingly or not, in iatrogenesis (Illich 1982), capitalist...


Health Professional Social Justice Cultural Competency Medical Anthropology Cultural Competency Training 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Anthropology, School of MedicineUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Medical Anthropology, UCSF Institute for Health and AgingUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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