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ExclusionsPracticing Prejudice in French Law and Medicine, 1920-1945$
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Julie Fette

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450211

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450211.001.0001

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The Art of Medicine

The Art of Medicine

Access and Status

(p.69) Chapter 3 The Art of Medicine

Julie Fette

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how the French medical profession sought to protect itself against foreigners and naturalized citizens through distinction. In particular, it considers how physicians tried to elevate their status by distancing themselves from other health care providers and to restrict the access of French people to their profession. Manifestations of this strategy included the repression of charlatanism and illegal medical practice by non-doctors, protection of the title of “doctor,” and campaigns against dentists, pharmacists, nurses, and midwives to preserve doctors' professional domain. Turf protection also led to battles among doctors themselves. Finally, two specific categories of French citizens were blamed for dragging down the profession and were targeted for exclusion: women and elderly doctors. This chapter first considers the opinion of a small minority of doctors who rejected the myth of overcrowding in their field before discussing the various protectionist mechanisms employed by doctors.

Keywords:   medical profession, foreigners, naturalized citizens, physicians, health care providers, charlatanism, non-doctors, exclusion, women, elderly doctors

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