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Encounters with illness: the perspective of the sick doctor

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This paper discusses the cases of three Norwegian medical doctors who have themselves been encountering serious illness within the last five years. The cases are discussed in relation to expectations that the sick doctor has towards him/herself: a doctor never gets ill; a doctor should demonstrate rapid recovery; a doctor should take care of others; a doctor should be a good patient; a doctor should not be intimate with his patients. The analysis is concerned with the way medical doctors embody their biomedical knowledge, and how this is made relevant for the process of coping with a serious illness. The role conflict of being a patient-doctor and a doctor's doctor is discussed.


Document Type: Original Article

Publication date: August 1, 2001

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