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The Evolution of British General Practice, 1850–1948$
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Anne Digby

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205135

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205135.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Public Duties and Private Lives

Public Duties and Private Lives

(p.259) 10 Public Duties and Private Lives
The Evolution of British General Practice, 1850–1948

Anne Digby

Oxford University Press

From the point of view of doctors within specific communities, this chapter explores the kinds of pressures that were indicated in an earlier discussion of the diversification of appointments which provided a very useful supplement to fee income in a competitive medical market. The prosopographical or group biography approach which is adopted in this chapter is useful, in that it enables key factors to be investigated in individuals' lives, and gives enhanced visibility to the dynamics of career development within defined and evolving social environments. In some contexts this was a struggle for survival but in others affluence and a desirable lifestyle resulted. The chapter also explores the conjunction of professional and private lives. In some contexts (or niches), the struggle for professional survival meant that a GP's private life was increasingly subsumed by public duties, but in others a greater affluence permitted a more desirable lifestyle for doctors and their families. A lynch pin between the public and the private was the doctor's house, which frequently served as both surgery and home, and within which the role of the doctor's wife was significant. The chapter ends with a reflection on the changing nature of the GP's values.

Keywords:   general practice, general practitioners, doctors, medical practice, communities, fee income

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