Notes on the medical underground: Migrant doctors at the margins

A. Harris, M. Guillemin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Many doctors migrate to find work opportunities elsewhere. Before being allowed to practice, these doctors, commonly referred to as International Medical Graduates (IMGs), must gain local registration, which can take considerable time. During this process many IMGs linger on the margins of hospitals, without medical employment. We follow this understudied group of IMGs in Melbourne, Australia, to understand their life on the margins of medicine. This takes us into hospital places on the fringes of clinical activity: a cafeteria, tutorial room and hospital library. We argue that these places are important for the doctors in retaining and strengthening their sense of professional identity in precarious circumstances. The IMGs find creative ways to inhabit familiar settings, creating their own pathways, to find their way into the local medical system. This analysis is in contrast to more common Foucauldian interpretations of hospitals that present the institution as having a structured, disciplining effect on its inhabitants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Sociology Review
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

Keywords

  • AUSTRALIA
  • CULTURE
  • IDENTITY
  • MIGRATION
  • PERSPECTIVE
  • SPACE
  • WORLD
  • hospitals
  • international medical graduates
  • marginality
  • place
  • professional identity
  • sociology

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