Corporatization and the social transformation of doctoring

Int J Health Serv. 1988;18(2):191-205. doi: 10.2190/YEVW-6C44-YCYE-CGEU.


Corporatization of health care is dramatically transforming the medical workplace and profoundly altering the everyday work of the doctor. In this article, the authors discuss recent changes in U.S. health care and their impact on doctoring, and outline the major theoretical explanations of the social transformation of medical work under advanced capitalism. The adequacy of the prevailing view of professionalism (Freidson's notion of professional dominance) is considered, and an alternative view, informed by recent changes, is offered. While the social transformation of doctoring is discussed with reference to recent U.S. experience, no country or health system can be considered immune. Indeed, U.S. experience may be instructive for doctors and health care researchers in other national settings as to what they may expect.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Economic Competition
  • Health Facility Merger
  • Hospital Administration*
  • Hospital Administrators
  • Hospitals, Proprietary / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Labor Unions
  • Physicians / supply & distribution
  • Professional Corporations / trends*
  • Professional Practice / trends*
  • Social Change
  • Sociology, Medical*
  • Specialization / trends
  • United States