The Resurgence of Medical Education in Sociology: A Return to Our Roots and an Agenda for the Future Public Deposited

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  • Jenkins, T.M.
    • Affiliation: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Underman, K.
    • Other Affiliation: Drexel University
  • Vinson, A.H.
    • Other Affiliation: University of Michigan Medical School
  • Olsen, L.D.
    • Other Affiliation: Temple University
  • Hirshfield, L.E.
    • Other Affiliation: University of Illinois College of Medicine
  • From 1940 to 1980, studies of medical education were foundational to sociology, but attention shifted away from medical training in the late 1980s. Recently, there has been a marked return to this once pivotal topic, reflecting new questions and stakes. This article traces this resurgence by reviewing recent substantive research trends and setting the agenda for future research. We summarize four current research foci that reflect and critically map onto earlier projects in this subfield while driving theoretical development elsewhere in the larger discipline: (1) professional socialization, (2) knowledge regimes, (3) stratification within the profession, and (4) sociology of the field of medical education. We then offer six potential future directions where more research is needed: (1) inequalities in medical education, (2) socialization across the life course and new institutional forms of gatekeeping, (3) provider well-being, (4) globalization, (5) medical education as knowledge-based work, and (6) effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Article
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Attribution 4.0 International
Journal title
  • Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Journal volume
  • 62
Journal issue
  • 3
Page start
  • 255
Page end
  • 270
  • English
  • Publisher
  • 0022-1465
  • American Sociological Association

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