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Achieving professional status: Australian podiatrists’ perceptions

Achieving professional status: Australian podiatrists’ perceptions
Achieving professional status: Australian podiatrists’ perceptions
Background: this paper explores the notion of professional status from the perspective of a sample of Australian podiatrists; how it is experienced, what factors are felt to affect it, and how these are considered to influence professional standing within an evolving healthcare system. Underpinning sociological theory is deployed in order to inform and contextualise the study.
Methods: data were drawn from a series of in-depth semi-structured interviews (n = 21) and focus groups (n = 9) with podiatrists from across four of Australia's eastern states (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory), resulting in a total of 76 participants. Semi-structured interview schedules sought to explore podiatrist perspectives on a range of features related to professional status within podiatry in Australia.
Results: central to the retention and enhancement of status was felt to be the development of specialist roles and the maintenance of control over key task domains. Key distinctions in private and public sector environments, and in rural and urban settings, were noted and found to reflect differing contexts for status development. Marketing was considered important to image enhancement, as was the cache attached to the status of the universities providing graduate education.
Conclusion: perceived determinants of professional status broadly matched those identified in the wider sociological literature, most notably credentialism, client status, content and context of work (such as specialisation) and an ideological basis for persuading audiences to acknowledge professional status. In an environment of demographic and workforce change, and the resultant policy demands for healthcare service re-design, enhanced opportunities for specialisation appear evident. Under the current model of professionalism, both role flexibility and uniqueness may prove important.
1757-1146
1-10
Borthwick, Alan M.
b4d1fa51-182d-4296-b5fe-5b7c32ef6f9d
Nancarrow, Susan A.
b65c3631-5d59-4d4a-8aee-2f570a4b3b20
Vernon, Wesley
4d654a06-5b7d-4959-9a62-3e912014d6ce
Walker, Jeremy
392f13ad-ecd7-48ed-bb03-ebe0e3435deb
Borthwick, Alan M.
b4d1fa51-182d-4296-b5fe-5b7c32ef6f9d
Nancarrow, Susan A.
b65c3631-5d59-4d4a-8aee-2f570a4b3b20
Vernon, Wesley
4d654a06-5b7d-4959-9a62-3e912014d6ce
Walker, Jeremy
392f13ad-ecd7-48ed-bb03-ebe0e3435deb

Borthwick, Alan M., Nancarrow, Susan A., Vernon, Wesley and Walker, Jeremy (2009) Achieving professional status: Australian podiatrists’ perceptions. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 2 (4), 1-10. (doi:10.1186/1757-1146-2-4).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: this paper explores the notion of professional status from the perspective of a sample of Australian podiatrists; how it is experienced, what factors are felt to affect it, and how these are considered to influence professional standing within an evolving healthcare system. Underpinning sociological theory is deployed in order to inform and contextualise the study.
Methods: data were drawn from a series of in-depth semi-structured interviews (n = 21) and focus groups (n = 9) with podiatrists from across four of Australia's eastern states (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory), resulting in a total of 76 participants. Semi-structured interview schedules sought to explore podiatrist perspectives on a range of features related to professional status within podiatry in Australia.
Results: central to the retention and enhancement of status was felt to be the development of specialist roles and the maintenance of control over key task domains. Key distinctions in private and public sector environments, and in rural and urban settings, were noted and found to reflect differing contexts for status development. Marketing was considered important to image enhancement, as was the cache attached to the status of the universities providing graduate education.
Conclusion: perceived determinants of professional status broadly matched those identified in the wider sociological literature, most notably credentialism, client status, content and context of work (such as specialisation) and an ideological basis for persuading audiences to acknowledge professional status. In an environment of demographic and workforce change, and the resultant policy demands for healthcare service re-design, enhanced opportunities for specialisation appear evident. Under the current model of professionalism, both role flexibility and uniqueness may prove important.

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Published date: 13 February 2009

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 72553
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/72553
ISSN: 1757-1146
PURE UUID: aca6f52e-6aac-40da-baca-54324b1c23ef

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Date deposited: 18 Feb 2010
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 23:43

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