A sociology of precision-in-practice: The affective and temporal complexities of everyday clinical care.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The idea of 'precision medicine', which has gained increasing traction since the early 2000s, is now ubiquitous in health and medicine. Though varied in its implementation across fields, precision medicine has raised hopes of revolutionary treatments and has spurred the proliferation of novel therapeutics, the alteration of professional trajectories and various reconfigurations of health/care. Nowhere is the promise of precision medicine more apparent, nor further institutionalised, than in the field of oncology. While the transformative potential of precision medicine is widely taken for granted, there remains scant attention to how it is being experienced at the coalface of care. Here, drawing on the perspectives of 54 cancer care professionals gleaned through eight focus group discussions in two hospitals in Australia, we explore clinicians' experiences of the day-to-day dynamics of precision-in-practice. We illustrate some of the affective and temporal complexities, analysed here under the rubrics of enchantment, acceleration and distraction that are emerging alongside the uptake of precision medicine in the field of oncology. We argue that these complexities, and their dis/continuities with earlier iterations of cancer care, demonstrate the need for sociological analyses of precision medicine as it is being implemented in practice and its varied effects on 'routine' care.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kenny, K; Broom, A; Page, A; Prainsack, B; Wakefield, CE; Itchins, M; Lwin, Z; Khasraw, M

Published Date

  • November 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 43 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 2178 - 2195

PubMed ID

  • 34843108

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9299761

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9566

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/1467-9566.13389


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England