By Claire L. Wendland
Burnout is usual between medical professionals within the West, so one may well suppose scientific occupation in Malawi, one of many poorest nations on the planet, could position a ways higher pressure at the idealism that drives many medical professionals. yet, as A center for the Work makes transparent, Malawian scientific scholars discover ways to confront poverty creatively, experiencing fatigue and frustration but in addition pleasure and dedication on their solution to turning into physicians. the 1st ethnography of scientific education within the international South, Claire L. Wendland’s booklet is a relocating and perceptive examine medication in an international the place the transnational move of individuals and ideas creates either devastation and possibility.
Wendland, a doctor anthropologist, performed huge interviews and labored in wards, clinics, and working theaters along the scholar medical professionals whose tales she relates. From the relative calm of Malawi’s university of drugs to the turbulence of educating at hospitals with gravely ailing sufferers and dramatically insufficient offers, employees, and expertise, Wendland’s paintings finds the best way those younger medical professionals have interaction the contradictions in their conditions, laying off new mild on debates concerning the results of clinical education, the influence of conventional therapeutic, and the needs of medicine.
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Extra info for A Heart for the Work: Journeys through an African Medical School
35 G ch apter two Medicine and Healing in a Postcolonial State W hen Malawi’s new doctors began studies at Malawi’s new medical school, they brought with them concepts of medicine and healing, some shared with medical students in the global North and some not. When they left at the end of their internships more than six years later for postings around the country, they faced regionally distinctive challenges as well as challenges common to physicians elsewhere in the world. Both their ideas and their challenges emerged within a Malawian history in which transnational movements of people, beliefs, diseases, healing practices, goods, and money have had profound effects.
Feminist scholars (for example, Haraway 1988; D. Smith 1990) have long argued that all researchers work from social locations not easily extricable from our theoretical locations. 41 Specifics of the ethnographer’s experience and social location are not to be somehow magically subtracted from our work to create an illusion of objectivity, most anthropologists now argue, but rather should be acknowledged, explored, and negotiated in the field and in our writing. Social location unquestionably influenced this research.
Chapters 4, 5, and 6 look at the experiences of Malawi’s doctors-to-be during their training and early practice years. Chapter 4 follows them into the laboratories and lecture rooms of basic science training and examines their early experiences of learning medicine. Trainees learn to “see” the universal body through processes of dissection and microscopy. They also take on a medical habitus that has some homogenizing effects, even as they never fully escape the effects of their class and gender identities.
A Heart for the Work: Journeys through an African Medical School by Claire L. Wendland