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Biographical methods and professional practiceAn international perspective$
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Prue Chamberlayne

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781861344939

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861344939.001.0001

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Doctors on an edge: a cultural psychology of learning and health

Doctors on an edge: a cultural psychology of learning and health

Chapter:
(p.298) (p.299) Twenty Doctors on an edge: a cultural psychology of learning and health
Source:
Biographical methods and professional practice
Author(s):

Linden West

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861344939.003.0020

This chapter's analysis is derived from in-depth, longitudinal, collaborative and auto/biographical research among twenty five general practitioners (GPs) or family physicians, working in demanding inner-city contexts, including inner London. The research concentrates on the learning, role and wellbeing of the GPs during the period of changing roles and expectations including within the management of healthcare in Britain, and a period of growing criticism over performance and accountability. The research chronicles and theorises, through case study material and an interdisciplinary ‘cultural psychology’, the impact and meaning of social and cultural change among the diverse groups of physicians. The research presented in this chapter focuses as well on the role and nature of lifelong learning in the management of change and professional development. It records and documents some of the doctor's doubts and anxieties n training and biomedical model itself. It also explores the psychological stress and feelings of helplessness that the doctors experience including the difficulties of dealing with this in a medical culture in which doctors are taught that they should know and cope. This chapter focuses on two stories of two doctors, who because of multiple identities and experiences of oppression have felt on the margins of profession.

Keywords:   auto/biographical research, general practitioners, changing roles, changing expectations, healthcare in Britain, performance and accountability, cultural psychology, social change, cultural change, lifelong learning

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