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Sociology in American medical education since the 1960s: The rhetoric of reform


  • Wegar, Katarina


Despite recommendations by medical reformers that medical sociology be included in the curriculum, there is currently little evidence of a far-reaching integration of sociological perspectives in American medical education. Yet, support for the relevance of sociological knowledge has since the late 1960s helped to diffuse external pressures for change in health care and medical education. As a symbol of the communitarian commitment of the medical profession, claims in favor of the incorporation of sociological perspectives have thus occasionally, and largely unitentionally, served the public relations interests of biomedicine. However, the more recent interest in medical ethics has some degree transformed medicine's educational agenda and the definition of medical 'human values'. Whereas the rhetorical expropriation of medical sociology primarily has concerned medicine's responsibility vis-á-vis society as a whole, the new medical ethics education signifies a return to a more individualistically oriented medical morality.

Suggested Citation

  • Wegar, Katarina, 1992. "Sociology in American medical education since the 1960s: The rhetoric of reform," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 959-965, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:35:y:1992:i:8:p:959-965

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Halkos, George, 1993. "Economic incentives for optimal sulphur abatement in Europe," MPRA Paper 33705, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ger Klaassen & David Pearce, 1995. "Introduction," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 85-93, March.
    3. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, January.
    4. Tietenberg, T H, 1990. "Economic Instruments for Environmental Regulation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 17-33, Spring.
    5. Halkos, George E., 1993. "Sulphur abatement policy: Implications of cost differentials," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1035-1043, October.
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