International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 311

Full Length Research Paper

Health and illness, between culture and territory on the practice of medical profession in Italy at the beginning of the third millennium

Cleto Corposanto
UMG University, Catanzaro, Italy
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 21 April 2009
  •  Published: 31 May 2009



In international literature there is an hypothesis on a shift in medical profession between elite and basis professionists. Some authors are more radical, because they consider some medical specializations in different autonomous professions, sometimes in conflict between themselves. On the basis of these considerations, what does it mean to be a general practitioner in Italy nowadays? What is the relationship between doctors and patients in Italy? What are the relations in Italy, between doctors and other health professionals? The object of the research analysis is constituted by a sample of 1162 GP professionals who work in 38 Italian provinces located in 10 different regions. The data were collected with a questionnaire, composed by 60 questions, delivered through a face to face interview by trained interviewers. On the basis of Cluster analysis, 3 ways of interpreting the medical profession were detected: disaffected, enthusiastic and detached, the 3 identified possibilities to practice the medical profession - disaffected, enthusiastic and detached doctors - manifest themselves with different modalities especially if considered at a geographic (and cultural) level while confirming the fact that to be doctors - and practice - is intimately connected with the concept of health (disease-sickness and well-being) that from every culture and every territory emerges.


Key words: Health, illness, medical profession, GP, culture.