Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Hodges BD, Martimianakis MA, McNaughton N, Whitehead C. Medical education… meet Michel Foucault. Medical Education. 2014 Jun;48(6):563-71.
doi: 10.1111/medu.12411. PMID: 24807433.

Context: There have been repeated calls for the greater use of conceptual frameworks and of theory in medical education. Although it is familiar to few medical educators, Michel Foucault’s work is a helpful theoretical and methodological source.

Methods: This article explores what it means to use a ‘Foucauldian approach’, presents a sample of Foucault’s historical-genealogical studies that are relevant to medical education, and introduces the work of four researchers currently undertaking Foucauldian-inspired medical education research.

Results: Although they are not without controversy, Foucauldian approaches are employed by an increasing number of scholars and are helpful in shedding light on what it is possible to think, say and be in medical education.

Conclusions: Our hope in sharing this Foucauldian work and perspective is that we might stimulate a dialogue that is forward-looking and optimistic about the possibilities for change in medical education.

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