© 2019 Sergei LELYUHIN

2019 – № 2 (18)

Author info:

Sergei Viktorovich Lelyuhin is Cand. Sc. in Sociology, Associate Professor of Compass scientific-educational center, as well as its Deputy Director of Learning (Saratov)

Key words: continuing medical education, computer education, Russian doctors, Southern Russia, Bourdieu’s forms of capital

Abstract:The article reviews professional perspectives of Russian doctors, based on narrative interviews with informants (N=7) working in six regions in Southern Russia. Four doctor types were elicited, according to specifics of their attitude to continuing medical education. To interpret the obtained results, the author uses Bourdieu’s theory of the forms of capital.


Important changes are going on in the auxiliary professional education; this trend explains why the current results of a transition towards the expert’s accreditation were chosen by us as the research problem. The doctors who obtained their certificate after January 1, 2016, are the object of our study, while its topic is the study of experts’ actions undertaken in the conditions of the system’s transformation. This type of focus of research interest is characteristic of the neo-Weberian approach – a framework for the research of various aspects of the relations between the state, market, professions, and citizens, including conflicting relations.

The research method we use is narrative interviews conducted in December 2019. Among the informants picked using the snowball method (N = 7) were employees of medical organizations controlling the process of doctors’ auxiliary training. Out of the seven informants, six were heads of staff departments, and one was a Chief Physician. The informants work in six regions of Southern Russia: Ingushetia Republic, North Ossetia-Alania Republic, Chechen Republic, Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai, and Rostov Oblast. We interpreted the obtained results based on The Forms of Capital theory by Pierre Bourdieu.

The first type of doctor is “a frustrated one”. They still wait in vain that certification will stay. The second type is those who “submitted” to the situation: they think that they “were left no choice and,”gritting their teeth“, they are forced to accept the new order”. The third type is “skeptics”. Although active in their education, they are focused on the drawbacks of the new system. The fourth type is “activists” who had a positive experience in their education and are not afraid of the changes in the system of medics’ auxiliary professional training.

Participating in the system of continuous medical training, the doctors create their professional portfolio. According to The Forms of Capital theory by Bourdieu, it becomes a cultural capital in its institutionalized state. For education, one needs investments, i. e. conversion of economic capital into a cultural one. After passing the accreditation procedure, the doctor obtains The Accreditation Account. It will be his competence marker, evidence of his conformity with the qualification requirements. The obtained cultural capital will then function as symbolic capital. This does not end the conversion of the capital. A transmission of cultural capital, confirmed in the categories legitimized by educational qualification, gives the right to access value positions, to receiving economic capital. In such a way, the doctors of the first type, “the frustrated ones”, as well as those of the second and third type, those who “submitted” to the changes and “the skeptics”, risk losing access to their professional activity unless they change their attitude to the system. They won’t be able to receive a cultural capital and receive access to work, and to economic capital. They can only exit this situation by becoming “activists”.


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Citation link:

Lelyuhin S. V. (2019). Typology of Doctors Based on Their Attitude to Continuing Medical Education [Tipologija vrachej v zavisimosti ot ih otnoshenija k nepreryvnomu medicinskomu obrazovaniju]. Medical anthropology and bioethics [Medicinskaja antropologija i biojetika], 2 (18).