Term of Award

Summer 2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Daniel Chapman

Committee Member 1

Delese Wear

Committee Member 2

John Weaver

Committee Member 3

Marla Morris

Committee Member 3 Email



The experiences of illness and trauma are vivid examples of a discontinuity that separates us from those that surround us. In seeking treatment, we enter a very foreign culture, regardless of how long or of how serious our injury or illness. We are disconnected from our personal and private lives and are placed within a cultural group bearing a separate set of beliefs and practices. Practitioners of medicine make up a distinct culture. This culture is formed as a site of discontinuity in a large part through the experiences of medical education from that of the experiences of the one we call patient. The dissertation explores the current practice and institutions of American medicine and its education through the theoretical frameworks of Critical Theory, Critical Humanism, and Postcolonialism. I investigate the historical developments of the initial identity of the patient, as well as the development of the hospital as a site of patient segregation and care, coupled with the development of the institutions of medical education. Through a critical and visual narrative of my own experiences within the settings, I compare the exploration and treatment of the patient to one who is geographically colonized as those described by Edward Said in his work, Orientalism. As the European colonialists defined, named, and studied the Oriental, American medicine and its education can be seen to enact very similar impacts and actions on the ill and vulnerable in our country.

Research Data and Supplementary Material