Półrocznik Językoznawczy Tertium/ Tertium Linguistic Journal

Vol 4, No 1 (2019)

What a Difference a Case Makes. A Discourse Study of Patient’s Presence in Contemporary Medical Case Reports

Magdalena Zabielska


Ample research on written professional medical discourse across genres and modalities generally points to the impersonal and dehumanising character of the communication in this particular context. On the other hand, there have been numerous attempts at incorporating the human element into medical texts, be it through different models, sets of guidelines, generic varieties, but also, more holistically, models of medical practice. The objective of the present paper is to study the discourse of case reporting in contemporary medical case reports with respect to patient’s presence. To this aim, a sample of regular case reports derived from a prestigious medical journal has been examined with particular attention to textual references to the treated. It will be shown that regardless of the current trend in medical practice in the direction to patient-centredness, regular medical reports, i.e. not special varieties, still bear the features of the biomedical discourse.



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