Migrant doctors’ narratives about patients
A study of professional identity in Chile and Hong Kong
Narratives of personal and vicarious experience are part and parcel of being a doctor, as doctors routinely (re)interpret and (re)tell patients’ narratives when reflecting on clinical cases. Taking an interest in migrant doctors’ self-initiated narratives about patients in doctor-researcher interviews about cultural transitions, this study examines over thirty hours of audio-recordings of forty semi-structured interviews conducted as part of a collaborative project in Chile and Hong Kong. The study explores how migrant doctors construct their professional ‘self’ through narratives about patients, and how these narratives help migrant doctors legitimise their arguments and professional stance in criticizing cultural and societal attitudes towards health and illness, and the professional practices of local doctors. Finally, the paper reflects on the ways in which migrant doctors’ identity positionings provide space for the creation of a “symbolic territory” in which the practices of migrant doctors co-exist within the boundaries of the practices of local doctors in the host culture.
- Narratives of personal and vicarious experience
- Conceptualising identity in cultural transitions
- Data and method
- Discussion and conclusions