Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, Vol 10, No 3 (2013)

Collective evaluation in specialised medical consultations: The co-construction of the diagnostic object

Renata Galatolo, Letizia Cirillo
Issued Date: 12 Dec 2017


This article investigates 50 specialised medical consultations conducted by a team of practitioners at a prosthetics centre. Specifically, the article focuses on evaluation sequences in which practitioners collectively assess the conditions of amputee patients by observing changing positions and various portions of their limbs (stumps), in order to choose the best prosthetic device for them. In so doing, practitioners participate in the construction of a shared diagnostic object (the assessable), a process that is crucial in the evaluation sequence and key to understanding the interactional practices whereby the participants transform the patient’s limb(s) into a professional case to be processed in the following clinical phases. In particular, what emerges is a shared professional vision upon which all subsequent decision-making rests. This vision is achieved through specific tacit practices reflecting the interplay of various territories of knowledge and building a professional backstage from which the patient is temporarily excluded.

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DOI: 10.1558/japl.26898


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