John Nott and Anna Harris have published a new article titled: “Teaching the normal and the pathological: Educational technologies and the material reproduction of medicine”. This article served as an inspiration for the Making Clinical Sense ‘Seeing “Normal’ exhibition, read more about the exhibition here.
The article dives deep into a problem that lies at the heart of medicine: the complex spectrum of bodily manifestation that exists between pathology and normality. Medical schools, as the primary locus for the reproduction of medicine, are important sites for cultivating knowledge of what is normal and what is not. Medical students engage with the concepts of normality and pathology through a wide range of educational technologies, including cadavers, plastic models, illustrations, and diagnostic tools. These technologies, however, are not universally employed across medical faculties, and variations in their use contribute to different constructions of pathology and normality.
Ethnographic observation and historical research in medical faculties in Hungary, the Netherlands and Ghana, have shown that educational practices are shaped by the epistemic traditions that manifest in the material environment of the medical school. The research shows that these different socio-material settings contribute to inconsistent notions of normalcy.
Although educational technologies often tend towards fixity, medical school practice in the north of Ghana resists the imposition of often alien standards typically found in teaching materials imported from Europe or North America. Ghanaian educators challenge their assuredness and the intellectual history of contemporary medicine by teaching around and beyond these materials.
Read the full article via this link, enjoy!