David mechanic: Professional zombie hunter

Frederic W. Hafferty, Jon Tilburt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Within the fields of medicine and sociology, the descriptor "profession" (along with its brethren: profession, professionalization, and professionalism) has had a rich etymological history, with terms taking on different meanings at different times-sometimes trespassing into shibboleth and jargon. This etymological journey has co-evolved with the career of David Mechanic to whom this issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law is devoted. We exploit a provocative metaphor applied to Mechanic's work on the challenges facing medicine as a profession as a playful exegesis on what we call "profession" to excavate an ensconced and encrusted domain of health jargon operating at the tensive interface of society and modern medical work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-863
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Health Politics, Policy and Law
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Civic professionalism
  • Ethics
  • Interprofessional education
  • Profession
  • Professionalism
  • Social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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