Not all doctors, it seems, are created equal. This talk examines the construction and implications of status hierarchies among internal medicine residents along the lines of educational pedigree. Jenkins explores how American-trained MDs come to enjoy higher status in the profession compared to international or osteopathic graduates, who disproportionately occupy less prestigious positions. She concludes that by relying on informal status distinctions that equate status with merit and eclipse structural disadvantages, US-trained physicians are able to remain elite despite importing some of the world’s best and brightest.
Tania Jenkins (Ph.D. Brown University) is a sociologist specializing in the medical profession. Her work examines how and why status hierarchies are (re)produced among physicians and how they impact both doctors and patients. She is currently writing her first book entitled Doctors’ Orders: The Making of Status and Inequality in the American Medical Profession (under contract with Columbia University Press).