Faithful Physicians: Discourses of Professionalism in Christian General Practitioners in New Zealand
In the past thirty years there has been an increasing focus on the spirituality and spiritual care of patients as they experience illness. During this peak of interest, the spiritual experiences of physicians and how it influences their practice has been largely neglected. Discourses of Professionalism are narratives that determine what is the archetypal behaviour and performance set out for physicians to achieve. Such discourses are products of their time. This thesis inspects the intersection of discourses of professionalism, as they are negotiated with discourses of personal faith in Christianity, and the physicians’ own personal identities in faith. The findings of this thesis show that the ten Christian physicians interviewed understood their role as medical professional first and Christian second. This revealed an intentional faithfulness of these Christian physicians to respond to the reason that patients has sought them out for medical treatment, while still upholding their faith but simultaneously appreciating that they were not paid to be ‘professional Christians’ such as chaplains are expected to be. The value of this thesis is that it reveals new and current contending discourses of professionalism in New Zealand’s medical climate, as well as serving to be a further contribution to the emerging field of the Anthropology of Christianities.
Advisor: Fitzgerald, Ruth; Jaye, Chrys
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Anthropology
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Professionalsim; General; Practitioners; Christian; Discourses
Research Type: Thesis