Doctors drifting: autonomy and career uncertainty in young physicians´ stories

Löyttyniemi V. Soc Sci Med 2001; 52 (2), 227-37.

Article in English.

Abstract on Pubmed and Science Direct - with different related links:

In the early 1990s unemployment among physicians was experienced, though transiently, in Finland for the first time. The situation was new both for the entire profession and for professionals, especially for young doctors and medical students who were given pessimistic prospects for the future. In this paper I analyze the life stories told by these young doctors and ask how this period of unemployment and insecurity can be explained and experienced in a way that is compatible with the professional identity of a good, valuable young physician. First, however, I look back to the context of unemployment and the public debate among the medical profession. I point to the collision between what seemed to be the best way for the profession to react and what it could mean for a young doctor actually threatened by unemployment. The results show that it was a question of retaining autonomy and drifting but these words gain different meanings depending on who is defining them.
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