Abstract and Keywords
Previous debates on the system of professions predominantly focused on medicine or a single profession. This chapter argues for an examination of the interactions between differing professions/occupations as an alternative approach to analyzing shifting professional boundaries. The chapter explores empirical data on professional interactions across the entire system from the medical profession to unqualified assistants. Two core themes emerge—firstly, minimal role blurring between doctors and nurses, but more substantive workplace blurring between nurses and health care assistants (HCAs); and secondly, significant role merging between doctors and managers with the gradual, variable development of an elite of medical managers. This chapter argues professional interactions are revealing. They illuminate the extent of autonomy of individual professions; and one discovers novel issues of power, professional control and accountability.
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