Doctors and Doctoring: An Analysis of the Cultural Discourses of Medicine

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Shinu C.
Binu Zachariah


The astonishing stories from the discourses of medicine portray the values of a doctor and the process of doctoring based on humanistic principles. Medical Humanities is an interdisciplinary field of study where one of the aims is to attempt to focus on the importance of empathy and kindness in medical practitioners who experience anguish, anxiety as well as professional satisfaction. Haris Qadeer introduces Medical Humanities, basically a Western thought, to the Indian context by compiling translated stories of illness and cure from the regional languages of India. The book, Medical Maladies: Stories of Disease and Cure from Indian Languages (2022), through nineteen fascinating short stories ranging from the early twentieth century to the contemporary period, discloses the various aspects of the cultural discourses of medicine in India. The translation of literary texts into other languages enhances their scope of obtaining a wider readership as well as reviews and critical analyses. A text like Medical Maladies opens the doors of regional Indian literatures so as to enable us to understand and study the vicissitudes of life portrayed in literatures in regional languages from all over the country. This paper attempts to analyse the impact of medical pluralism and medical paternalism on the treatment offered, changing medical gaze, the threats of the corporatization of medicine that makes doctoring a business, the influences of sociocultural beliefs in the suffering of women, and the challenges faced by the doctors, patients and other medical practitioners through a study of five stories from this collection. These include “Quarantine”, “A Day in the Labour Room”, “The Surgeon”, “Mantra”, and “Narova Kunjarova”

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Author Biography

Binu Zachariah, Professor, Dept. of English, Pondicherry University



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