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Motivations for the 'gift-of-care' in the context of the modernisation of medicine

MacBride-Stewart, Sara ORCID: 2014. Motivations for the 'gift-of-care' in the context of the modernisation of medicine. Social Theory and Health 12 , pp. 84-104. 10.1057/sth.2013.22

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This article proposes that doctors continue to care well in the context of modernisation. Modernisation reflects the strengthening of regulated and authoritative forms of care (care-as-discipline). There remains, however, a need to focus on an understanding of care as love and generosity (care-as-gift), and to examine the importance of this element for care. I draw on interviews with 32 primary care doctors in Wales about their everyday work, focusing on accounts of care-as-gift. The reciprocity of patients to the provision of care at a personal level, and new institutional arrangements related to work–life balance, are both constituted by the doctors as care-as-gift. The doctors’ accounts of the institutional and patient participation in care-as-gift were used to claim that what doctors do for patients is worthwhile and meaningful. At a time of modernisation and challenge in medical work, care-as-gift is a means by which doctors can continue to regard themselves as ‘good, caring professionals’.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISSN: 1477-8211
Funders: Cardiff University
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 08:53

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