The Deprofessionalization of Soviet Physicians: A Reconsideration

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Julie V Brown, Associate Professor and Head (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Traditional explanations for the relatively low status of the Soviet medical profession credit the Bolshevik government in the 1920s with deprofessionalizing or "leveling" a once autonomous and powerful occupational group. This article presents new data which challenge that interpretation. The Russian medical profession was never autonomous and powerful. Many physicians cooperated with the Bolsheviks because of shared beliefs regarding the organization of medical care. By the late imperial period, many physicians advocated the inclusion of all medical workers in policy-making administrative organs. Focusing upon Russian psychiatrists, the author analyzes the events that prompted the profession to adopt this position. The finding of greater continuity between prerevolutionary Russian and Soviet physicians suggests that this presumably anomalous case has greater significance for theoretical models of professionalization and occupational prestige than previously supposed.

Additional Information

International Journal of Health Services, 17:65-76. DOI: 10.2190/25FU-RCVN-JP4M-EH64
Language: English
Date: 1987
Deprofessionalism, Russia, Bolsheviks, occupational groups, medical care, psychiatrists

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