PERCEPTIONS OF TURKISH DENTISTS OF THEIR PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY IN A MARKET-ORIENTATED SYSTEM


ÖCEK Z. A. , VATANSEVER K.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH SERVICES, cilt.44, ss.593-613, 2014 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 44 Konu: 3
  • Basım Tarihi: 2014
  • Doi Numarası: 10.2190/hs.44.3.i
  • Dergi Adı: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH SERVICES
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.593-613

Özet

This study explores the perceptions of Turkish dentists of their professional identity and of the effects of market orientation in dentistry. This phenomenological study used a qualitative approach using a group of Turkish dentists, who were selected based on the principle of maximum variation. Four focus groups and 31 in-depth interviews were conducted. Forty-nine dentists were interviewed using a semi-structured form. The data analysis yielded three themes: (a) dentistry as a business; (b) dentistry as a profession; and (c) professional status of dentistry in the health care system and in the community. The participants' statements reflected that the dominance of market mechanisms in dentistry inevitably forces dentists to adopt the characteristics of a businessperson and prevents them from fulfilling the basic requirements of professionalism. All participants explained that with the transformation of the dental care market, dentists have become a cheap labor force and have lost their professional autonomy. Our study has confirmed previous reports pointing out the conflict between dentistry as a profession and dentistry as a commercial operation. The study also showed that in Turkey, as a country experiencing rapid reform processes, dentists' control over their professional practices and identities has decreased.