Doctors down under: European medical migrants in Victoria (Australia), 1930-60
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Document TypePhD thesis
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© 2019 Dr Fallon Mody
The middle of the twentieth-century saw an unprecedented mass relocation of medical practitioners – through forced migration, military service, and as economic migrants. Between 1930-60, over three thousand medical migrants – that is, overseas-trained medical graduates – are known to have arrived in Australia. Their arrival was transformative as they challenged longstanding Australian legislative structures, and came to occupy critical gaps in local medical manpower. However, medical migrants in Australia are understudied. My research begins to redress what historians have called the ‘conspicuous silence’ or ‘collective amnesia’ that characterises nation-centric medical histories, where medical migrants are largely invisible. Through a series of case studies, underpinned by a prosopographic database documenting over two hundred ‘European medical migrants’, I examine the resettlement and professional lives of two broad groups registered in the state of Victoria between 1930-60: British and Irish medical migrants (the privileged invisible) and continental European medical migrants (the marginalised ‘aliens’). Each case study can stand alone, and addresses an identified gap in the historiography. However, taken together, these case studies enable a more nuanced reflection of the differences and intersections between groups of medical migrants that historians have tacitly held as being too disparate to study collectively. Key outcomes of this research include the recovery and contextualisation of the ‘special types of labour’ medical migrants undertook; the impact of gender in the process; and the agency displayed by more marginalised groups of medical migrants.
Keywordsmigrant doctors; medical migration; medical women; prosopography; Australian history; history of medicine
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