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Title: Special medicine : producing doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
Author: Ruddock, Anna Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 3615
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is an anthropological study of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), with a primary focus on undergraduate, or MBBS, education. Established in 1956, AIIMS is an enormous government-funded hospital, anomalous in the public healthcare landscape for employing many of India’s most respected doctors, who consistently provide a high standard of free or lowcost care to patients of low socioeconomic status. It also occupies an unassailable position atop the hierarchy of Indian medical education. AIIMS is a postcolonial institution, with origins in a colonial proposition, informed by global expertise, and realized with the support of international donors. Despite its profile, AIIMS has received little attention from social scientists. The same is true of medical education in India more broadly. Attending to these lacunae, I position my thesis in relation to literatures on hospital ethnography, and the training of health professionals in the Global South, as well as attending to other determinants of students’ experiences, including the dynamics of reservation-based difference, and their conceptions and experiences of aspiration and attainment. My analysis proceeds from an understanding of the All India Institute as simultaneously insulated from, permeated by, and complicit in the sociomedical landscape beyond its gates. Maintaining this perspective through a series of ethnographic chapters, I interrogate what is contained within the description of AIIMS and its students as ‘the best’. How is ‘the best’ defined and experienced? How does it inform articulations of aspiration and excellence, at global, national, and individual levels? And what implications might the ways in which India’s ‘best’ young doctors are produced contain for the politics and practice of health and medicine?
Supervisor: Parry, Bronwyn Catherine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available