Chapter published in:Identity Struggles: Evidence from workplaces around the world
Edited by Dorien Van De Mieroop and Stephanie Schnurr
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 69] 2017
► pp. 281–298
‘Even if there were procedures, we will be acting at our own discretion…’
General practitioners’ struggle about identity
The objective of this chapter is to explore how Polish general practitioners (GPs) discursively negotiate their professional identities in relation to their emotions and to the barriers they face in the healthcare system, while dealing with patients presenting Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS). The data come from four focus group interviews with 14 Polish GPs and were gathered as part of an international project (Czachowski et al. 2012). This study focuses on the doctors’ identity struggle to combine often competing sets of expectations. Specifically, it shows how the GPs look for ways of balancing the patients’ expectations with emotions, on the one hand, and the professional ethos attached to their roles, impeded by institutional barriers, on the other. It explores discursive strategies of distancing-mitigation, legitimisation and idealisation, drawn upon by the GPs to cope with these identity struggles.
Keywords: Polish general practitioners, identity struggle, Medically Unexplained Symptoms, discursive strategies
Published online: 26 April 2017
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