Regulating for safer doctors in the risk society

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This chapter is concerned with contemporary reforms to the institutional body responsible for overseeing the regulation of the medical profession in the United Kingdom: the General Medical Council (GMC). Recently the state has introduced legislation which has changed the organisation of the GMC and how it ensures medical practitioners are fit to practice. It is argued that this demonstrates that rank and file practitioners are becoming subject to greater peer appraisal and review as a result of external pressure to reform medical governance and increase professional accountability mechanisms. But it is also noted that reforms in medical regulation are bound up with a broader shift in how good governance is conceptualised and operationalized under neo-liberal mentalities of rule as the state seeks to promote at a distance a certain type of citizen-subject congruent with the enterprise form within the risk saturated conditions associated with high modernity. The paper concludes that it is important to investigate contemporary reforms in the regulation of doctors while also bearing in mind the broader socio-political context so social scientists can better contribute to current debate
concerning how best to regulate professional forms of expertise.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedicine, Risk, Discourse and Power
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781317331964
ISBN (Print)9780415502696
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


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