Surgeons employ craft, cunning, and technology to open, observe, and repair patient bodies.
In Bodies in Formation, anthropologist Rachel Prentice enters surgical suites increasingly packed with new medical technologies to explore how surgeons are made in the early twenty-first century.
Prentice argues that medical students and residents learn through practice, coming to embody unique ways of perceiving, acting, and being.
Drawing on ethnographic observation in anatomy laboratories, operating rooms, and technology design groups, she shows how trainees become physicians through interactions with colleagues and patients, technologies and pathologies, bodies and persons.
Bodies in Formation foregrounds the technical, ethical, and affective formation of physicians, demonstrating how, even within a world of North American biomedicine increasingly dominated by technologies for remote interventions and computerized teaching, good care remains the art of human healing.