A Clinical Encounter of East Meets West: A Case Study of the Production of ‘American-Style’ Doctors in a Non-American Setting

By Tanya Kane.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Medical education necessitates a highly challenging process of acculturation which is amplified for Arabic-educated students who enter the American medical curriculum without many of the values derived from a Western educational system. In addition to language, students from Arabic-medium schools cite dress, religion and cultural dissonance as issues that had to be negotiated while undertaking an American medical degree.

Students enrolled at the American-style medical college currently divide their time between the Gulf and America. The structure of the imported curriculum and biomedical practices demand that students become bilingually competent in both Arab and American health care systems. The ‘American way’ of doing things, however, does not always translate or conform to acceptable/standard practice within the Gulf setting. Arab students assume disparate roles as they move between the coeducational American academic setting and local health care facilities, modifying their performances in accordance with their targeted audience’s norms, values and expectations. This paper explores the ways that Arabic students contextualize, appropriate and reconstruct the medical degree according to their own cultural referential framework.

Keywords: Globalisation of Medical Education

Global Studies Journal, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.73-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.176MB).

Tanya Kane

Ph.D Candidate, Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Tanya Kane is a Ph.D. candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh and has recently completed two years of field work in the Arabian Gulf.


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