Challenges to medical dominance

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    The term medical dominance refers to the fact that medicine is clearly the most powerful profession in the health system, despite the fact that nurses and midwives outnumber medical practitioners by more than three to one, as shown in Figure 21.1 (AIHW 2016a). According to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), medical practitioners makeup 16.3 per cent of the 14 regulated health professions and nurses and midwives make up 58.7 per cent of all registered health practitioners in Australia (AHPRA 2017). This chapter briefly explains what medical dominance is, how it was established, and the problems it poses to the delivery of optimal health care. The chapter then focuses on the various challenges to medical dominance that are said to be undermining medicine’s influence over health care delivery,other health professions, and patients. It concludes with an examination of the effectiveness of various challenges to the medical profession, showing that medical dominance has never gone unchallenged, and has often been resisted in formal and informal ways.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSecond opinion
    Subtitle of host publicationAn introduction to health sociology
    EditorsJohn Germov
    Place of PublicationSouth Melbourne, Victoria
    PublisherOxford University Press, USA
    Number of pages26
    ISBN (Electronic)9780190306496
    ISBN (Print)9780190306489
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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