Mentoring Medicine: Learning to be a Doctor in Mexican Obstetrics Wards

Faculty Research Grant
Grant Year

This research investigates the causes of obstetric violence in Mexico. Obstetric violence is characterized by dehumanizing and unnecessarily interventionist treatment, exacerbating lack of dignity for obstetric patients, and this research will address how physicians learn or acquire this practice and attitude. The research will take place in maternity wards at two hospitals (one public, one private) in the city of Puebla. Maternity wards are high-stress environments where life and death often coexist. Methodologically, the research will be based upon the collection of data from ethnographic encounters (interviews, systematic observations) and from social networks (advice and mentorship dyads, peer interactions, etc.) of medical interns, physicians, and nurses in these wards. At its heart, this project requires us to rethink how culture is transmitted, how resources and support are valued, and what role cooperation and competition play as medical students maneuver through the system.