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Traditional Chinese medicine physicians’ insights into inter-professional tensions between traditional Chinese medicine and biomedicine: a critical perspective

Chang, Leanne; Lim, Jing Ci Jill

Authors

Leanne Chang leanne.chang@nottingham.edu.cn

Jing Ci Jill Lim



Abstract

In Singapore, the institutional preference for biomedicine and the cultural importance of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have created tensions between the two medical systems and erected barriers to a more collaborative healthcare system. This study foregrounds TCM physicians’ voice to reveal ideological struggles and power imbalances that underlie the inter-professional tensions and accompanying marginalization of TCM. Through in-depth interviews with 22 TCM physicians in Singapore, this study reveals the incongruences in ideological underpinnings between biomedicine and TCM, reflected in their different worldviews and epistemological approaches to knowledge formation and evaluation. Power differentials between the two medical systems are manifest in TCM physicians’ inferior position in relation to their biomedical peers, the patients’ internalization of biomedical standards to question the TCM profession and their own interest in seeking TCM treatments, and the state’s limited support for TCM research, subsidies, and service provision in hospital settings. The results suggest that more open dialogue about the dichotomous framings of biomedicine and TCM is key to disrupting the mutual reinforcement of ideology and power, as well as to creating increased mutual understanding between the two medical systems.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Health Communication
Print ISSN 1041-0236
Electronic ISSN 1532-7027
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Chang, L., & Lim, J. C. J. (in press). Traditional Chinese medicine physicians’ insights into inter-professional tensions between traditional Chinese medicine and biomedicine: a critical perspective. Health Communication, doi:10.1080/10410236.2017.1405478
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2017.1405478
Keywords discourse ideology: integrative medicine; medical pluralism; power; traditional Chinese medicine
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10410236.2017.1405478
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Health Communication on 22/11/2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline....0/10410236.2017.1405478

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf



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