"Mobile physicians: negotiating status and knowledge transfer."
2014 (English)In: Rethinking Anthropologies in Central Europe for Global Imaginaries. Social and Cultural Change in Contemporary Central Europe, May 26 - 27, 2014, Prague, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
Our suggestions for “framework that bring the anthropology in/of Central Europe into conversation with global conceptual development” is that of highly skilled mobility, transnationalism and knowledge transfer, as Central Europeans are becoming increasingly mobile in their professional lives. We would like to present results from an ethnographic study, based primarily on narrative interviews, but also observations and conversations, with 25 Polish physicians currently living and working in Sweden or attending a preparatory course for migration. Health care is often considered a globalized labour market and some of our interviewees have previously worked in Great Britain, US, Israel, France or Norway. Sweden is increasingly dependent on physicians from abroad (18% of doctors were educated in another country) and Polish doctors constitute one of the largest non-Scandinavian groups. We analyse the physicians’ narratives about their working lives in Poland and the various reasons for their decision to move to another country, which they often frame in relation to the brain-drain debate in Polish media. They also tell about their strategies of re-establishing professionalism in a new setting. They present themselves as an integrated part of the transnational elite in the medical field, but at the same time they regard their Central (or former “Eastern-“) European origin as affecting their professional situation. They meet both positive and negative stereotypes. The doctors tell about their successes and tribulations and what may be called “cultural frictions”. The term highly skilled mobility points also to the doctors’ talk about the possibility of further movement – e.g. back to Poland or to another work place abroad.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
mobility, physicians, de-familiarisation, status, knowledge, class, gender
Research subject Ethnology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-107921OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-107921DiVA: diva2:849672
Rethinking Anthropologies in Central Europe for Global Imaginaries. Social and Cultural Change in Contemporary Central Europe, May 26 - 27, 2014, Prague