How and why do medical professionals give the advice that they give? This panel seeks to explore the professions of medicine and healthcare, unpacking the values held by the various fields that influence individual health-care providers' decision-making, diagnosis and treatment activities.
Although anthropologists have been adding value in studies of institutions and organisations since the Hawthorne Studies in the 1930s, there has been significantly less anthropological work done on the cultures that develop in professions. This panel invites anthropologists and anthropology-adjacent researchers to reflect on the culture/s of the medical and healthcare professions, in a bid to try to understand how and why those cultures have emerged as they have. What are the changes to medical, health and wellness theory; the changes to the way medicine and health is taught; the changing moral and ethical considerations throughout society/ies, and/or; the technological innovations that have influenced the norms and values held in contemporary healthcare landscapes? What are the intersections between the individual professional identities of healthcare providers and the emergent culture of their professions? Although papers are invited from multiple perspectives, across a broad range of subfields within medicine and health, and from any geographical location or cultural frame of reference, the panel will ultimately seek to explore the questions: how and why do medical and healthcare professionals give the advice that they give? How and why do they make the decisions that they make about diagnoses and treatment possibilities when medical knowledges are both increasingly contested and rapidly changing?