The empire of the mind and medical migration
in Migrant architects of the NHS
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Chapter 3 shows that a key factor behind the large-scale migration of South Asian doctors to Britain was the lingering effect of what Andrew Porter has called the ‘empire of the mind’. South Asian medical systems functioned along post-imperial lines rather than being radically redefined. British medicine remained a model to be emulated and South Asian medicine continued to situate itself in relation to medicine in Britain. Imperial legacies shaped medicine on the Indian subcontinent and more generally the thought processes of doctors. These after-effects of empire can be detected in doctors’ accounts of their medical training and careers in medicine as well as when they discuss their personal backgrounds and wider exposure to British culture. This context is essential to understanding the post-war movement of South Asian doctors to Britain. Migration thus appears in doctors’ oral history interviews as a ‘natural’ process as one of them put it, rather than a hiatus.

Migrant architects of the NHS

South Asian doctors and the reinvention of British general practice (1940s– 1980s)


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