Making Sense of Modern Medical Careers: The Case of the UK’s National Health Service



Bolton SC, Muzio D & Boyd-Quinn C (2011) Making Sense of Modern Medical Careers: The Case of the UK’s National Health Service. Sociology, 45 (4), pp. 682-699.

The ongoing debate on the re-articulation of the relationship between professions, the market and the state, pays increasing attention to the issue of professional identities and how these are reframed through processes such as socialization and training. The UK government's Modernising Medical Careers programme (MMC), which introduces significant revisions to the structure, content and delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate doctor training, represents a recent example of an interruption of such processes within public sector professions. MMC strikes at the very heart of the medical profession by demystifying the process of forming, socializing and initiating new generations of professionals, and shifting the control over the processes and conditions of professional closure away from the profession itself. The article draws on the methodological and conceptual lens provided by Wright Mills' 'Vocabularies of motive' (1940) to analyse medics' reactions to recent reforms in medical education.

doctors; modernizing medical careers; sociology of the professions; Tooke Report; training; vocabularies of motive

Sociology: Volume 45, Issue 4

Publication date31/08/2011
PublisherSAGE Publications for the British Sociological Association

People (1)


Professor Sharon Bolton

Professor Sharon Bolton

Emeritus Professor, Management, Work and Organisation