Tomkins, A and Coleborne, C (2020) Professional Migration, Occupational Challenge, and Mental Health: Medical Practitioners in New Zealand, 1850s-1890s. Social History of Medicine, 34 (3). pp. 874-894. ISSN 0951-631X

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Australasian colonies were promoted as ‘lands of opportunity’ for British medical practitioners of the Victorian period, but once there doctors often found that any problems they faced had travelled with them. Furthermore, the act of migration could add to personal difficulty. This article builds on existing work about the challenges confronting doctors in England, and on the potential of asylum records to address the consequences of migration, to consider the experiences of men who chose to move round the globe. It concerns practitioners’ turbulent careers in New Zealand, with an emphasis on their poor mental health and suicide. Official and personal sources are used to evaluate the impact of professional drivers, and the consequences for medical men. It concludes that migration did not mitigate professional stresses and instead induced or exacerbated personal crisis. The visibility of alcohol-related distress is particularly marked in contrast to evidence for practitioners in England.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final version of this accepted manuscript can be found online at; © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Social History of Medicine. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (
Uncontrolled Keywords: mental health, migration, New Zealand, medical, professions
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > DU Oceania (South Seas)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2020 10:18
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2022 01:30

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