The development of academic general practice in Scotland: A sociological analysis

Reid, Margaret Elspeth (1980) The development of academic general practice in Scotland: A sociological analysis. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis examines the transformation of a generalism into a specialty. It takes as its example the branch of medicine known as general practice, and appraises its introduction into the university as an academic discipline. The study draws upon historical data, interviews with general practitioners, and participant observation of seminars in general practice. The thesis is divided into four sections. The first, Chapter One, documents the theoretical orientation of the investigation. It reviews the sociological literature on professional structure but argues that while professional training is well covered in the literature, the subject matter of the training, the academic discipline itself, is seldom the focus of the search. The second section provides an overview of general practice. Chapter Two examines the development of that branch of medicine, in particular emphasising the relationship between the curriculum and the broader professional structure. Chapter Three outlines current general practice, and identifies two distinct perspectives held by general practitioners of their work. Section three introduces university based general practice. Chapter Four reviews the emergence of the four general practice departments in Scotland, isolating the critical features associated with the birth of an academic department. The relationship between the service general practitioners and the academic members of an applied profession is the topic of Chapter Five. Chapter Six outlines the general practice courses of the four departments, and through an analysis of their aims and teaching methods, identifies some of the problematic issues surrounding their presentation. Section four examines different group perspectives on the teaching of general practice, and draws upon one example of general practice teaching. Chapter Seven compares and contrasts the- views of the academic and the service general practitioners, while Chapter Eight introduces into the discussion the part-time teachers of two departments. Chapter Nine, the final empirically based chapter, uses material from an actual teaching situation. The first part of the chapter illustrates the teaching of one perspective to students; the second, related part uses the observational data to contrast the teaching of the subject with that more typically experienced in the undergraduate curriculum. The conclusion sums up the overall argument of the thesis, and lists some propositions about the future of general practice. Overall, this thesis should be seen as a contribution towards a greater understanding of the processes involved in specialty development.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: John E.T. Eldridge.
Keywords: Medicine, science history, health education.
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Supervisor, not known
Date of Award: 1980
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1980-73919
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2022 09:05
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.73919

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