Who decides what counts as healthy? New book explores medical authority
The pandemic has changed the way we think about the authority that we give the medical profession. Now, a sizable portion of Arizonans are going against the advice of the medical world, often even of their own doctors, and refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
There continues to be debate about the efficacy of wearing masks to protect against the virus, even though the “experts” tell us to wear them.
Daniel Menchik is an ethnographer at the University of Arizona. And he says, when it really matters, we still listen to our doctors. And they are still the gatekeepers who decide what counts as healthy and unhealthy and what needs treatment.
Menchik's new book, "Managing Medical Authority: How Doctors Compete for Status and Create Knowledge," takes a deep dive into the medical industry and the relationship doctors have with industry reps selling things like pacemakers.
The Show spoke with him to learn more about the work and how he went about this ethnographic research.