The intension of this presentation is to encourage debate on auto-ethnography in medical systems. The empirical starting point will be my present study of how young doctors learn to make decisions about diagnosis and treatment of the individual patient. The study is an ethnographic field study involving participant observation and individual interviews with nine newly graduated doctors for a period of 18 months. The background of the ethnographer who is also the author of the present abstract poses a few interesting challenges to the study. I am a doctor doing fieldwork in my own medical culture, among other doctors, at departments where I have worked. My parents, my sister and my grandfather are doctors. So reflections and experiences concerning medicine and being a doctor are integrated parts of my personal history and identity. Will I be capable of critical reflection on something that is a part of me? How can I represent the experience and learning of my informants without simply reproducing my own experience? This makes the project both anthropology-at-home and auto-ethnography. I will present an example from the field work to illustrate the many ways in which the auto- part of the ethnography influences both what takes place at the empirical level and how this is represented in the analysis. I look forward to a discussion of both the benefits and the pitfalls of being a part of the field.
auto-etnografi; medicinsk antropologi; feltarbejde; auto-ethnography; medical anthropology; fieldwork