Boys in white: student culture in medical school by Howard Saul Becker

By Howard Saul Becker

The transition from younger layman intending to be a doctor to the younger health professional expert in strategy and assured in his dealings with sufferers is sluggish and halting. to check drugs is usually rated one of many significant academic ordeals of yank formative years. the trouble of this strategy and the way scientific scholars suppose approximately their education, their doctor-teachers, and the career they're getting into is the objective of this research. Now considered as a vintage, Boys in White is of important curiosity to clinical educators and sociologists. through day-by-day interviews and observations in periods, wards, laboratories, and working theaters, the staff of sociologists who conducted this firsthand study haven't merely captured the troubles, cynicism, and simple idealism of clinical students—they have additionally documented many different realities of clinical schooling relating to society. With a few sixty tables and illustrations, the ebook is an immense scan in studying and featuring qualitative facts.

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Here we need only say that during the first two years they move through the school as a unit, all taking the same classes at the same time, while during the last two years they are divided into several groups, each of which takes the same group of courses but in a different sequence. Thus the decisions about whom to observe differ for the first and last half of school. Once we had made the general decisions discussed below, dictated by these differences in deployment of the classes, we found it necessary to make certain more specific decisions based on the knowledge of the rhythms of student life we acquired during our field work.

These entries were then reassembled by code number so that we had in one place all the facts bearing on a given topic, thus making possible a relatively quick check of our data on any given point. One specific technical innovation we have made is a form for demonstrating the customary and collective character of certain group perspectives. This form is described in some detail in the next chapter, where we discuss the specific concepts we have used in our analysis. It should be remembered that, although we started with no conception of the importance of the level and direction of students' efforts, this problem gradually came to dominate our thinking, so that what we ended with in the way of a theoretical position is somewhat different from what we started with.

Such a method afforded us the greatest opportunity to discover what things were of importance to the people we were studying and to follow up the interconnections of those phenomena. It allowed us to revise our model of the organization and the processes we were studying by furnishing us with instances of phenomena we had not yet made part of our over-all picture. It enabled us to return to the field for further evidence on these neW problems. We shall describe later the specific observational techniques we used and the way we have tried to solve the problem of how to analyze systematically the large amount of data collected by this method.

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