Table of contents
About this book
After putting down this weighty (in all senses of the word) collection, the reader, be she or he physician or social scientist, will (or at least should) feel uncomfortable about her or his taken-for-granted commonsense (therefore cultural) understanding of medicine. The editors and their collaborators show the medical leviathan, warts and all, for what it is: changing, pluralistic, problematic, powerful, provocative. What medicine proclaims itself to be - unified, scientific, biological and not social, non-judgmental - it is shown not to resemble very much. Those matters about which medicine keeps fairly silent, it turns out, come closer to being central to its clinical practice - managing errors and learning to conduct a shared moral dis course about mistakes, handling issues of competence and competition among biomedical practitioners, practicing in value-laden contexts on problems for which social science is a more relevant knowledge base than biological science, integrating folk and scientific models of illness in clinical communication, among a large number of highly pertinent ethnographic insights that illuminate medicine in the chapters that follow.
Evaluation Transformation clinic ethnography internal medicine pediatrics psychiatry