A Heart for the Work: Journeys through an African Medical School by Claire L. WendlandA Heart for the Work: Journeys through an African Medical School by Claire L. Wendland

A Heart for the Work: Journeys through an African Medical School

byClaire L. Wendland

Paperback | October 1, 2010

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Burnout is common among doctors in the West, so one might assume that a medical career in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world, would place far greater strain on the idealism that drives many doctors. But, as A Heart for the Work makes clear, Malawian medical students learn to confront poverty creatively, experiencing fatigue and frustration but also joy and commitment on their way to becoming physicians. The first ethnography of medical training in the global South, Claire L. Wendland’s book is a moving and perceptive look at medicine in a world where the transnational movement of people and ideas creates both devastation and possibility.

Wendland, a physician anthropologist, conducted extensive interviews and worked in wards, clinics, and operating theaters alongside the student doctors whose stories she relates. From the relative calm of Malawi’s College of Medicine to the turbulence of training at hospitals with gravely ill patients and dramatically inadequate supplies, staff, and technology, Wendland’s work reveals the way these young doctors engage the contradictions of their circumstances, shedding new light on debates about the effects of medical training, the impact of traditional healing, and the purposes of medicine.

Claire L. Wendland is assistant professor in the departments of Anthropology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Medical History and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and honorary senior lecturer in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Malawi College of Medicine.
Title:A Heart for the Work: Journeys through an African Medical SchoolFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:October 1, 2010Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226893278

ISBN - 13:9780226893273


Table of Contents



Prologue: Arrival Stories

1.  Introduction: Moral Order and Medical Science    

All Part of the Same Big Mess: Mkume Lifa    

2.  Medicine and Healing in a Postcolonial State    

Serving Our Nation: Joe Phoya    

In the District: Evelyn Kazembe    

3.  Paths to Medicine    

Welcome to the College of Medicine    

4.  Seeing Deeply and Seeing Through in the Basic Science Years    

Welcome to Queens     

5.  The Word Made Flesh: Hospital Experience and the Clinical Crisis    

Complications: Johnson Chisale    

On the Ward: Enelesi Nyirenda    

6.  Resource Is a Verb: Realities and Responses    

Someone Else in This World: Duncan Kasinja    

As Human as Everybody Else: Zaithwa Mthindi    

7.  Doctors for the People: Theory and Practice    

Epilogue: Departure    

Technical Appendix: Research Methods