Complex health care organizations are likely to comprise a number of coexisting subcultures. While these may share some common orientations and similar espoused values, they may also diverge and clash or maintain uneasy and shifting tensions. Traditionally in the NHS, organizations such as hospitals have been clearly differentiated along distinctly occupational lines and these may give rise to a wide range of non-mutually exclusive subcultures in terms of clinical specialism, department, ward or clinical network afﬁliation.
Source: Konteh FH, Mannion R, Davies HTO (2010) Understanding culture and culture management in the English NHS: a comparison of professional and patient perspectives. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 17: 11-117. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2753.2010.01376.x https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/college-social-sciences/social-policy/HSMC/publications/2011/culture-management-English-NHS.pdf
Example of the term in use:
In medicine, subcultures tend to develop around specialties. The three specialties in our research population, anesthesia, surgery and nursing, require different skills and training. The members of each group differentiate between themselves and members of the others. Stereotypes held by medical personnel about other specialties are strong and occasionally pejorative.
Helmreich RL, Merritt AC (1998) Culture at Work in Aviation and Medicine. National, Organizational and Professional Influences. Ashgate Publishing Ltd. Page 40.