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Street medics: "the tension between expertise and inclusion"  RSS feed

 
Joel Hollingsworth
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A very important point raised in the recent "Hunt gather study medicine" blog post:

http://huntgathermedicine.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/medicine-in-context-4-street-medics/

A lot of what drives people to build up capacity for health care is a drive to participate and to feel their own expertise. However, as systems build that can foster that capacity and expertise, it takes some effort to remain inclusive.

I know I'm driven to feel like an expert. Some day I might be interested in taking the "street medic" training course she mentions.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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I did a quick skim of the article. It reminds me of a different article that attempted to distinguish the different types of anarchism per generation.

The blog author, Anne, is drawing some relationships between expertise and our desire for autonomy. Since the 1960's, there's been a lot of drive to reject the mainstream, and be independent of old conventions that no longer serve--in a way, that's autonomy.

Another article I read presented the idea that the earlier anarchists--those in the '60's and '70's--rebelled in such a way that they wanted to throw out any and all authority figures. He felt this culture was reflected in the modern myths of the orphaned superheroes: Superman, Batman, etc.

Then, in the 1980's and 1990's, the cultural myths shifted to superheroes with mentors: the X-men, the Powerrangers and event the Ninja Turtles. Still a sense of anarchy and bucking the system, but with guidance of a knowledgeable elder, mentor or master. Ron “Doc” Rosen, as Anne describes him, sounds like an expert elder that folks would be willing to learn from.

People do clash when they each view themselves as an expert, though I do think there can be that combination of master and student in each of us where we're open to being wrong, to always being a student no matter how knowledgeable we become.

My favorite health care practitioners are the ones who respect me and my knowledge, and present information to me as choices for my health care instead of edicts. Even though I've been known to be very opinionated about health care, I can be very happy to follow the recommendations of professionals whom I trust and respect.

To sum it up, I do think there are some generational shifts here--maybe even good ones. And, as ironic as it sounds, don't you think that empowering people to be autonomous and/or knowledgeable allows them to be more comfortable as part of a group, or to take direction? 
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:as ironic as it sounds, don't you think that empowering people to be autonomous and/or knowledgeable allows them to be more comfortable as part of a group, or to take direction?


I'm tempted to call this, not irony, but Tao. An expert has more prior knowledge for an educator to activate (if you'll excuse the jargon), and so can be taught much more quickly. Similarly, a healthy amount of pride can give someone enough confidence to accept guidance, especially difficult sorts of guidance like correction.

It's interesting comparing Batman and Superman to the previous generation of superhero. The example I'm thinking of is Doc Savage: His mentors are out of the picture, but he works with a team of near-equals.
 
tel jetson
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:
To sum it up, I do think there are some generational shifts here--maybe even good ones. And, as ironic as it sounds, don't you think that empowering people to be autonomous and/or knowledgeable allows them to be more comfortable as part of a group, or to take direction? 


that sounds a lot like how I understand a lot of the rural Spanish anarchists to have operated, as long as we're talking about anarchists.
 
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