“Like in the Taiga or Deep Space”: A Thematic Analysis of the Meanings of the Work and Everyday Life of Young Country Doctors During the COVID-19 Pandemic





COVID-19 pandemic, young doctors in rural areas, motivation of young doctors in rural areas during the COVID-19 pandemic, thematic analysis, features of the work of young country doctors, job satisfaction among young doctors


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the work of many professionals. For medical ones, in particular for doctors, the situation caused by the pandemic has been associated not only with the transition to a remote work, but also with additional workloads, the need to restructure the daily routine and expand professional competencies, for example, to get used to working with a larger number of patients. As a rule, there is a shortage of doctors in rural areas, so one doctor has to serve several villages, which can be located at a distance of up to ten kilometers from each other. The purpose of this article is to describe the subjective meanings that country doctors give to their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The work was done in the framework of a phenomenological approach to the study of professions, which allows to analyze narratives of young country doctors and emphasize features of their everyday life. Utilizing the method of thematic analysis, the article focuses on the following main topics: 1) transformation of the doctor's role, 2) changes in motivation, and 3) issues of job satisfaction in rural areas during the pandemic. Semi-structured interviews with young country doctors were conducted in two regions — the Leningrad Region and the Republic of Karelia. On their basis, the article represents the meanings that young doctors put into their work during the period of COVID-19.

Author Biography

Konstantin A. Galkin, Sociological Institute, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences

  • Sociological Institute, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia
    • Cand. Sci. (Soc.), Senior Researcher