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American MedicineThe Quest for Competence$
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Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780520088962

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520088962.001.0001

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Medical Malpractice and the Voices of Medicine

Medical Malpractice and the Voices of Medicine

(p.9) Chapter One Medical Malpractice and the Voices of Medicine
American Medicine

Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good

University of California Press

This chapter presents a picture of the ferment over medical liability and malpractice that colored the period throughout the ethnographic studies. The ways individual physicians and medical collectivities responded to the malpractice crises illustrate a diversity of professional voices and repertoires of discourse on competence. The multiple voices of the profession present in the malpractice debates suggest three primary repertoires in which physicians speak and write about competence: an intra-professional repertoire primarily internal to and intended only for members of the profession; an extra-professional repertoire consciously designed to represent professional interests and to mediate between medicine and the public; and a reflective repertoire, providing individual physicians with acceptable cultural genres through which to explore experiences of competence and incompetence.

Keywords:   medical malpractice, medical liability, ethnographic studies, medical competence

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