CategoryPaul Bourke Lectures
Health workforce shortages are commonly described in media and policy discourse as an increasing problem for many ‘advanced liberal’ nations, including Australia. While the structural and economic explanations for this have become the subject of considerable debate and resourcing, less attention is paid to the social meanings ascribed to particular areas of healthcare work and to how these might also shape career and employment trajectories. This lecture will consider what a more constructivist approach to understanding the ‘problem’ of workforce shortages might contribute. In particular, I will introduce the first national study of the HIV general practice workforce and explore some of the changing clinical, professional and political meanings of HIV medicine for the general practitioners who provide care to people living with HIV around the country.