Doctors on status and respect: a qualitative study

Wendy Lipworth, Miles Little, Pippa Markham, Jill Gordon, Ian Kerridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


While doctors generally enjoy considerable status, some believe that this is increasingly threatened by consumerism, managerialism, and competition from other health professions. Research into doctors' perceptions of the changes occurring in medicine has provided some insights into how they perceive and respond to these changes but has generally failed to distinguish clearly between concerns about "status," related to the entitlements associated with one's position in a social hierarchy, and concerns about "respect," related to being held in high regard for one's moral qualities. In this article we explore doctors' perceptions of the degree to which they are respected and their explanations for, and responses to, instances of perceived lack of respect. We conclude that doctors' concerns about loss of respect need to be clearly distinguished from concerns about loss of status and that medical students need to be prepared for a changing social field in which others' respect cannot be taken for granted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-17
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Bioethical Inquiry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Physicians
  • Health occupations
  • Ethics
  • Social dominance


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