Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Contribution:

What medicine can (not) do: a structural competency lens to reflect on crises of professional identity among healthcare workers in Germany and Austria  
Lucia Mair (University of Vienna)

Contribution short abstract:

Drawing on teaching experiences with medical students and healthcare professionals in Germany and Austria, I reflect on how structural competency invites discussion of crises of professional identity in healthcare, between medical professions and, crucially, across generations.

Contribution long abstract:

The current moment of crisis in healthcare services worldwide envelops not only overburdened health infrastructures, but healthcare professionals themselves. Not least since the global COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers increasingly show signs of burnout, depression, demoralization, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in different global contexts, causing some to question their professional identity as healthcare workers, and leave healthcare entirely as a profession. In light of global shortages of physicians and nursing professionals, this is a worrying trend with tangible consequences.

Often overlooked, however, is the similarly prevalent issue of trainee burnout – among medical and nursing students - which poses a harm to students’ own (mental) health, to patients, and to strained healthcare systems in which students are educated and in which they work. In this roundtable, I would like to discuss in how far structural competency can serve as a framework to open up honest conversation about personal and collective crises of confidence in one’s own (medical) profession, and foster epistemic humility among young healthcare providers in particular. Structural competency significantly widens the scope of what falls within the remit of doctors and nurses to include social, political and cultural factors contributing to (ill) health - a move that can have the diverging effects of empowering, but also overburdening future healthcare workers even further. I offer to this discussion firsthand experience as a physician-anthropologist and health activist to highlight the entryways, but also the challenges I have encountered in working with the framework in healthcare education in Germany and Austria.

Roundtable RT059
(Un)doing the anthropology of health care crisis: Structural Competency and health care professionals [Medical Anthropology Europe (MAE)]
  Session 1