This article is an ethnographic exploration of the responses of doctors to the 1997 healthcare reform in Poland. Based on research carried out among practitioners working in Podstawowa Opieka Zdrowotna (POZ, “Basic Healthcare”), which was established in 1997 and opened up to the market, I demonstrate the newly emerged self-identification of doctors, which can be expressed by the term, “the expanded doctor”. Following Elizabeth Dunn’s and Asta Vonderau’s ethnographies of post-socialist reconstructions, I examine how POZ practitioners became “expanded doctors”, and what particular elements constitute this novel and liberal self-definition. Based on Eliane Riska and Aurelija Novelskaite’s description of practitioners’ experiences of transforming from a planned economy to a world composed of “four logics”, I analyse the entrepreneurial face of the doctors’ self-identification, their attachment to private ownership, and the cult of liberal capitalism.
Abadía-Barrero, César. 2015. Neoliberal Justice and the Transformation of the Moral: The Privatization of the Right to Health Care in Colombia. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 30 (1): 62–79.
Balcerowicz, Leszek. 1995. Socialism, capitalism, transformation. Budapest: CEU Press.
Bazylevych, Maryna – Hrešanová, Ema. 2011. Introduction: Health and Care Work in Post-Socialist Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. Anthropology of East Europe Review 29(1): 1–7.
2006. The Specter of Orientalism in Europe: From Exotic Other to Stigmatized Brother. Anthropological Quarterly 79(3): 463–482.
2008. The Enigma of the Middle Class: A Case Study of Entrepreneurs in Poland. In: Schröder, I. W. – Vonderau, A. (eds.): Changing economies and changing identities in postsocialist Eastern Europe. Berlin: LIT Verlag: 47–74.
2012: Anthropology in Postsocialist Europe. In: Kockel, U. – Craith, M. N. – Frykman, J. (eds.): A companion to the anthropology of Europe. First edition. Singapore: Blackwell Publishing: 68–87.
Dao, Amy – Nichter, Mark. 2015. The Social Life of Health Insurance in Low-to-Middle-Income Countries: An Anthropological Research Agenda. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 30(1): 122–143.
Dunn, Elizabeth, C.
2008a: Prywatyzując Polskę. O bobofrutach, wielkim biznesie i restrukturyzacji pracy. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej.
2008b: Subjectivity after Socialism: An Invitation to Theory Building in Anthropology. In: Schröder, I. W. – Vonderau, A. (eds.): Changing economies and changing identities in postsocialist Eastern Europe. Berlin: LIT Verlag: 225–235.
Fotaki, Marianna. 2009. Maintaining the Illusion of Free Health Care in Post-Socialism. A Lacanian Analysis of Transition From Planned to Market Economy. Journal of Organizational Change Management 22(2): 141–158.
Hahn, Robert – Kleinman Arthur. 1983. Biomedical Practice and Anthropological Theory: Frameworks and Directions. Annual Review of Anthropology 12: 305–333.
Jenkins, Richard. 2008. Social identity. Third edition. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
Kennedy, Michael, D. 2002. Cultural formations of postcommunism emancipation, transition, nation, and war. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Koch, Erin. 2013. Free market tuberculosis. Managing epidemics in post-socialist Georgia. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.
Kubik, Jan. 2013. From Transitology to Contextual Holism: A Theoretical Trajectory of Postcommunist Studies. In: Kubik, J. – Linch, A. (eds.): Post-communism from within. Social justice, mobilization and hegemony. New York: New York University Press: 27– 94.
Kürti, László – Skalnik, Peter (eds.). 2009. Post-socialist Europe: anthropological perspectives from home. Oxford: Berghahn Books.
Mulligan, Jessica. 2015. Insurance Accounts: The Cultural Logics of Health Care Financing. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 30(1): 37–61.
Riska, Elianne – Novelsaite Aurelija. 2011. Professionalism and Medical Work in a Post-Soviet Society: Between Four Logics. Anthropology of East Europe Review 29(1): 82–93.
Rivkin-Fish, Michele. 2011: Health, Gender, and Care Work: Productive Sites for Thinking Anthropologically About the Aftermaths of Socialism. Anthropology of East Europe Review 29(1): 8–15.
Rylko-Bauer, Barbara – Farmer, Paul. 2002. Managed Care or Managed Inequality? A Call for Critiques of Market-Based Medicine. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 16(4): 476–502.
Schecter, Kate. 2011. The Privatization of the Georgian Healthcare System. Anthropology of East Europe Review 29(1): 16–22.
A. Stone, Deborah, A. 1997: The Doctor as Businessman: The Changing Politics of a Cultural Icon. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. 22(2): 533–556.
Timmermans, Stefan – Berg, Marc. 1997. Standardization in Action: Achieving Local Universality Through Medical Protocols. Social Studies of Science 27(1997): 273–305.
Watson, Peggy. 2013. Catastrophic Citizenship and Discourses of Disguise: Aspects of Health Care Change in Poland. In: Watson, P. (ed.): Health care reform and globalisation. The US, China and Europe in comparative perspective. Abingdon: Routledge: 118–139.
Verdery, Katherine. 1996. What was socialism, and what comes next? Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Vonderau, Asta. 2008. Models of Success in the Free Market: Transformations of the Individual Self-Representations of the Lithuanian Economic Elite. In: Schröder, I. W. – Vonderau, A. (eds.): Changing economies and changing identities in postsocialist Eastern Europe. Berlin: LIT Verlag: 111-128.