Article ID: CBB986183965

Competent Men: Papuan and New Guinean Medical Staff in the Wake of the Pacific War (2021)


In histories of medical institutions and training in colonial Papua and New Guinea there is an insidious danger of slipping into deficit histories. This article uses Dipesh Chakrabarty's theoretical critique of colonialism as a waiting room of history to revisit medical training not so much as something offered by colonial administrations, but as something taken by New Guineans and Papuans. Focusing on the Pacific War and the consolidation immediate after the War, this paper investigates continuities with German colonialism in New Guinea, and Australian colonialism in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea and the External Territory of Papua during the interwar years. The postwar native medical orderlies, for example, followed in the footsteps of the prewar medical tultuls. This article argues that understanding how institutions and education schemes were permeable to the desires of Papuans and New Guineans, and malleable to life trajectories might be a starting point to write histories that give dignity to the genesis of medical health services and medical practitioners in Papua New Guinea.

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Authors & Contributors
Schayegh, Cyrus
Wailoo, Keith A.
Ragab, Ahmed
Raeburn, Toby
Héraut, Louis-Armand
Kelly, Laura
Health and History
Medical History
History of Psychiatry
Histoire des Sciences Médicales
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
Canadian Historical Review
KIT Publishers
Mosaic Press
Princeton University
University of California, San Diego
Duke University Press
Yale University Press
Indigenous peoples; indigeneity
Health care
Physicians; doctors
Medical education and teaching
Hill, Patrick
Boas, Franz
Jim Yong Kim
Farmer, Paul
Don Berwick
Time Periods
20th century, early
19th century
20th century, late
20th century
18th century
17th century
Papua New Guinea
University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine
Harvard School of Public Health

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