Integrating CAM in General Practice: A Case-Study on Homeopath Physicians

Thursday, 14 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 32 (Main Building)
Distributed Paper
Jerome DEBONS, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Few studies in social sciences are concerned with primary care doctors who integrate CAM in their daily practice, a model that Philip Tovey and Jon Adams describe as «direct integration practice». Thus, I did my PhD thesis on homeopath physicians, a category particularily emblematic of this model.

My study is based on a corpus of twenty-six semi-structured interviews conducted between 2010 and 2013 with homeopath physicians who worked in private offices, in the french speaking part of Switzerland and who, mostly, graduated in the 1980s-1990s. Twenty interviews with non-homeopath general practitioners complete this corpus.

In this presentation, I will give the results of the comparative analysis, which has been carried out following the methodological principles of career narratives and content analysis. This work brings to light a continuum of professionnal identities, ranging from «specialists» to «eclectics». I interpret these internal differences in the category of homeopath physicians by the following aspects: careers, therapeutic values and beliefs, nature of work and configuration of workplace, type of clientele, professional networks and political commitments.