Technology and the teaching hospital: objects, concepts and curricula in Ghanaian medical education, c. 1923-2018

Text

 Established in 1996 in order to address the dearth of medical education in Ghana’s northern savannah, the University of Development Studies (UDS) hosts an innovative medical school curriculum developed in conjunction with Maastricht University. Such international collaborations must, however, be considered in view of the history of European involvement in African medical education. By offering a broadly defined and historically informed ethnography of teaching technologies at UDS this research will provide insight into the assumptions of universality which underpin the internationalized medical education – itself an under investigated medical technology – as well as its specific translation into an African context. Drawing on historical and ethnographic study at UDS, this paper explores how pedagogical technologies – both material and conceptual – have travelled to northern Ghana. Rarely produced with a mind to students in the Global South, material technologies found in African medical schools are imbued with assumptions relating to the presentation of disease, to cultural preconceptions of health, to environment and to infrastructure. However, STS scholars have shown that a technology’s inscription does not equate to its use (e.g. Akrich 1992; de Laet & Mol 2000). The process of technological translation is further complicated by abstract technologies of ethnicity and language which collude to skew medical knowledge toward national and international standards. We use the tension between inscription and translation to trace the “ir/relevance” (M’Charek 2005) of (neo)colonialism in medical education, while also thinking conceptually about the technologies of medical education which might contribute to a more considered postcolonial STS.

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Contributors

Contributed date

January 20, 2019 - 11:55am

Critical Commentary

This is an abstract was subbmited to the 2018 4S Anuual Confrence held in Sydney, by John Nott of Maastricht University. It was presented in the session titled "STS Africa: Biomedicine."

The abstract was selcted as it holds key topic of intreset to the contributor's research. Specfically having to do with medical training and universality, along with colonial and post-colonial medical tradtions of teaching.   

Source

This is an abstract was subbmited to the 2018 4S Anuual Confrence held in Sydney, by John Nott of Maastricht University. It was presented in the session titled "STS Africa: Biomedicine."

Language

English

Cite as

John Nott, "Technology and the teaching hospital: objects, concepts and curricula in Ghanaian medical education, c. 1923-2018", contributed by Parikshith Shashikumar, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 20 January 2019, accessed 5 July 2022. https://stsinfrastructures.org/content/technology-and-teaching-hospital-objects-concepts-and-curricula-ghanaian-medical-education-c