ERIC Number: ED184159
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Reference Count: 0
A Rhetorical Approach to Understanding the Medical Interview.
Sharf, Barbara F.
After discussing the rhetorical nature of physician/patient interactions, this paper describes and analyzes six medical interviews to illustrate the evolution of interpersonal and role relationships between physicians and patients, the sorts of information that are shared, and the way problems are resolved. The interviews that are described consist of two from family practice, two from internal medicine, and two from pediatrics. They vary in duration from 15 minutes to an hour; the sample of physicians is weighted toward white, American, male residents; and the patient population is white, evenly divided between sexes, and representative of a range of ages and socioeconomic levels. Among the findings discussed are that the physicians took primary responsibility for asking questions and for initiating topics; that they tended to explain, prescribe, demonstrate, remind, and repeat; that they used various approaches to attempt to gain patient cooperation; and that they were acknowledged as the experts in the interviews, an assumption that helped them to order and regulate the interviews, but one that led to a passive role by patients. (GT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (65th, San Antonio, TX, November 10-13, 1979).