By Claire L. Wendland
Burnout is usual between medical professionals within the West, so one could suppose scientific occupation in Malawi, one of many poorest international locations on the earth, might position some distance higher pressure at the idealism that drives many medical professionals. yet, as A middle for the Work makes transparent, Malawian clinical scholars learn how to confront poverty creatively, experiencing fatigue and frustration but additionally pleasure and dedication on their solution to changing into physicians. the 1st ethnography of scientific education within the worldwide South, Claire L. Wendland’s booklet is a relocating and perceptive examine drugs in an international the place the transnational circulation of individuals and concepts creates either devastation and possibility.
Wendland, a doctor anthropologist, performed large interviews and labored in wards, clinics, and working theaters along the scholar medical professionals whose tales she relates. From the relative calm of Malawi’s university of medication to the turbulence of teaching at hospitals with gravely in poor health sufferers and dramatically insufficient provides, employees, and know-how, Wendland’s paintings finds the way in which those younger medical professionals have interaction the contradictions in their situations, laying off new gentle on debates concerning the results of clinical education, the impression of conventional therapeutic, and the needs of medicine.
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Additional info for A Heart for the Work: Journeys through an African Medical School
I first met him in his premedical course, when he hung out with a much older group of experienced clinicians who were “upgrading” to become doctors. He seemed then naïve and idealistic, more than a little awestruck by the breadth of real-life experience his classmates had. His seriousness (and his habit of wearing a suit and tie to class) made him the occasional butt of classmates’ joking. Five years later, as he neared graduation, he had become a student respected for his hard work and scholarship.
The healer has long been an ambiguous figure of high status, but also at high risk—endangered bodily, politically, morally. The story and its contradictions are embodied in individuals: Hastings Banda, a doctor who was also a dictator; Chikanga, a healer whose pan-Africanist philosophy made him charismatic and dangerous; John Chiphangwi, a physician-educator who put himself at risk to help his patients; David Livingstone, the missionary explorer whose medicine for Malawi was—at least in part—capitalism.
Many of these students described feeling torn between the values of their home communities, which they described as highly collective and kinoriented, and their new medical culture, which they perceived as motivated introduction 31 by individual achievement and competition. They questioned whether they could make these two worlds mesh. This issue hadn’t come up for me or my mostly European-American colleagues, and (like anyone who has spent many years in school) I looked to the library for help.
A Heart for the Work: Journeys through an African Medical School by Claire L. Wendland