The Discoursal Aspects of Medical Encounters

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Nada Aziz Yousif ALMuttalibi


This paper exclusively deals with medical encounters. . Structurally and thematically, it manifests itself in five parts. The First part deals with medical encounters as well as essential speech activities which cover (a) frames (certain types of talk) (b) the patient’s account and the patient’s story or more precisely the patient telling his story and (c) the act of questioning the patient.

The Second part revolves round genre and register. The former, in most cases, suggests that the format of medical encounters is conversational. With register; we have a converse reality that restrictively tries to narrow things and give them a certain flavor.

The Third part realizes the technicalities of medical encounters (a) the setting of an interview realized by the clinical atmosphere which either impedes or facilitates medical interviews (b) the operative parts of medical encounters which involve elements like (i) beginning an interview (ii) the main part of an interview (iii) asking questions (iv) probing questions (v) picking up cues (vi) demonstrating active listening (vii) verbal and non- verbal facilitation (viii) other points including clarification , relevance and silent periods (ix) summarizing (c) introductory and terminating talk in a medical encounter (d) ending an interview and (e) defense mechanism in a medical interview.

The Fourth part of my study projects clinical discourse and interpersonal communication relationships.

The Fifth part presents one model of a medical encounter that is evaluated. The model tells us precisely what goes on between the interviewer and the interviewed.

The paper ends with a conclusion that sums up the insights gained by the study and that isolates some of the operative perceptive points for our inspection.

A questionnaire has been conducted to explore the physicians’ and the patients’ attitudes, knowledge and emotional aspects. The results with this questionnaire have been analyzed and then confirmed in my conclusion.

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