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Training Tales: U. S. Medical Autobiography

Essay Excerpt

This article explores aspects of the social history of physician autobiography in the United States. I am concerned, as well, with what one might call the structure and poetics of medical autobiography as a form of narrative that has contributed to the constitution of medicine as a set of social practices and cultural values. I examine a recent genre of U.S. physician autobiography, the training narrative, to explore these issues. This genre has come to dominate physician autobiography in the United States over the last 15 years or so. Particular works focus on medical school (e.g., Klass 1987; Klein 1981; LeBaron 1981; Reilly 1987), a single year of medical school (e.g., MacNab 1971; Konner 1987), the post-graduate medical internship (e.g., Marion 1989), and residency training (e.g., Harrison 1982; Klass 1992; Laing 1985; Rainer 1987) (339).

Pollock, D. "Training Tales: U.S. Medical Autobiography." Cultural Anthropology 11.3(1996): 339–361.

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