Physicians of Western Medicine

Anthropological Approaches to Theory and Practice

  • Robert A. Hann
  • Atwood D. Gaines

Part of the Culture, Illness and Healing book series (CIHE, volume 6)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Introductions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Atwood D. Gaines, Robert A. Hahn
      Pages 3-22
  3. Core Medicine

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 49-49
  4. Medical Specialties

  5. Interrelations of Medical Specialties

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 245-245
    2. Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good
      Pages 247-267
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 333-345

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

Editors and affiliations

  • Robert A. Hann
    • 1
  • Atwood D. Gaines
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesSchool of Medicine, University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Anthropology and PsychiatryCase Western Reserve University and Medical SchoolClevelandUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1985
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-277-1881-5
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-6430-3
  • About this book