May 25, 2017
5:00pm to 6:30pm
Haines A25

The Conversation Analysis Working Group invites you to join us:

Amanda McArthur (PhD Student, UCLA): "Rethinking diagnosis in primary care: From clinical object to interactional practice"

For conversation analysts studying medical interaction, clinical objects like diagnoses are not “things in the world” separate from the clinical encounters out of which they emerge; rather, they are shaped by the particulars of the interaction, and by participants’ interactional concerns and projects. However, even in the conversation analytic literature on acute primary care encounters, diagnosis (or diagnostic “information” or “news”) is often taken for granted as some “thing” that, once identified by the doctor, is necessarily delivered to a patient in the diagnosis phase of the visit. In this study, I aim to rethink diagnosis in primary care not as a clinical object that doctors (invariably) deliver at a specific moment in every visit trajectory, but rather as an interactional practice that doctors deploy (or not) to accomplish or orient to projects that emerge out of the interaction-so-far with individual patients. I pay particular attention to (1) when doctors deliver diagnostic information “early,” i.e. before the diagnosis phase, and (2) when doctors skip the diagnosis phase, moving straight to recommendations for treatment. Through my analysis, I aim to contribute nuance to our understanding of how diagnostic information gets communicated to patients in primary care.