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'Ya Doktor': Devenir médecin et exercer son art en 'Terre sainte', une expérience du pluralisme médical dans l'Empire ottoman finissant (1871-1918)

Abstract : In the 1870s, the Near East undergoes a massive growth in the practice of 'Western' medicine. This results in a lasting situation of medical pluralism and professional confrontation. Western-style trained physicians are far from marginalizing practitioners of Arabic medicine, they have to face up to the latter's ongoing competition as well as distrust and cultural resistances on the part of the patients. Yet over the following period, the Ottoman State favours Western medicine against Arabic or Ottoman medicine. One way to do this is to publish in 1861 a regulation demanding that physicians should produce a medical diploma, acquired in a Western medical school. The regulation produces intensifying effects in the whole of the Syrian world, especially in the so-called "Holy Land", after 1871. At that date, the first local Western medical schools start granting their students medical degrees. Those schools also place the students under (foreign) national influence, as the Ottoman State considers the recognition of these degrees (or refusal thereof) as a matter of sovereignty. Those circumstances lead physicians to form, and increasingly feel they form, a specific social group. That group stands out in the medical landscape, on account of the career paths it offers and of the scientific authority claimed by its members. This matters institutionally to the Ottoman State as it implements massive reforms, but it has myriads of forms, in particular formal ones, e.g. with the adoption of a sartorial habitus, and discursive ones. The confrontation with Arabic / Ottoman medicine is set on the latter field : Arabic medicine is increasingly reduced to an ethnographic residual object, despite being omnipresent in medical practice and securing the adhesion of its patients who seldom show a preference for Western medicine.
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Contributor : Philippe Bourmaud <>
Submitted on : Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 12:27:18 PM
Last modification on : Monday, March 29, 2021 - 2:26:02 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, November 28, 2020 - 12:34:05 PM


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Philippe Bourmaud. 'Ya Doktor': Devenir médecin et exercer son art en 'Terre sainte', une expérience du pluralisme médical dans l'Empire ottoman finissant (1871-1918). Histoire. Université Aix Marseille 1, 2007. Français. ⟨tel-02923651⟩



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