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Title: Working with the body in the medical curriculum
Author: Fenwick, Angela
ISNI:       0000 0001 3459 8678
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2004
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My research focuses on the ontological status of the bodies that students encounter in the medical curriculum: dead and dissected, unconscious and conscious. It uses the two constructs of the medical body - passive and object - and the everyday body - active and social - to explore the relationships between students and these bodies, in an attempt to find an approach with recognises the complexity of these interactions. It is my contention that the curriculum does serve to support the notion of the medical body in a variety of ways and that certain normalised educational practices reinforce this. However, the everyday body is present for students in various situations: for example, when they make a social connection to the patient. Attention to the ontological status of the bodies that students interact with is important because it influences the way that the body is treated. If a student needs to negotiate access to a patient's body, how they go about this will be affected by the status they accord the body: negotiating access with a person whose body is considered to be passive is likely to take a different form from a negotiation with someone whose body is viewed as active and interacting. The introduction of policies and procedures which aim to improve interactions between patients and students, need, therefore to be understood in the wider context of the status of body in educational encounters and in medicine. Students must find their way through an uncomfortable and complex tension between using bodies for their own ends and, at the same time, respecting these bodies. I propose that this tension be openly discussed and that the contingent nature of both students' and patients' bodies need to be acknowledged. Encouraging a view of the patient's body as everyday - as a social 'educating' body - through more active involvement of patients in students' education, might be one way to counter, or interrupt, the unnecessary transformations to the medical body.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available