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The Workings of Medicine
The workings of medicine

The sociology of health, illness and medicine has been reluctant to get to grips with health policy, although interested in professional–patient interactions. The study of the day-to-day provision of health services is the preserve of health services research – an area that medical sociology can comfort itself by characterizing as descriptive and atheoretical. This chapter covers sociological approaches to the practice of medicine in the policy environment in which professionals must work. The state plays a central role in the provision of health and social care and in debates about the decline of medical dominance, its regulatory agencies are key. As noted in the prologue, early sociologists did not focus on medicine as an institution that was shaping ...

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