Original scientific paper
Danka Sinadinović, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3643-5917; Univerzitet u Beogradu, Medicinski fakultet
The discourse of medical encounters is an excellent example of both institutional talk and the discourse of power and its prominent features can be analysed from various aspects. This paper deals with interruption as an important characteristic of both doctor-patient communication and institutional talk in general. The research is focused on comparing the ways doctors and patients interrupt each other and the amount of power they need for this. First, some previous research in this field has been reviewed – it is discussed how interruptions are different from overlaps, how typical it is for patients to interrupt their doctors, how and why doctors and patients interrupt each other and whether they have equal rights when it comes to interrupting their interlocutors. As we aimed at checking these results and investigating if, how and when patients interrupted their doctors, a corpus of 37 recordings made in a tertiary referral hospital in Belgrade, Serbia, in the department of pulmonology, has been analysed. Examples of interruptions by doctors and patients were analysed according to the principles of conversation analysis and critical discourse analysis. The obtained results confirmed an ever-present asymmetry in doctor-patient communication, although it was not as conspicuous as it had been stated in some previous research. Finally, the difference between the ways in which doctors and patients interrupt each other and the reasons behind these interruptions were emphasized.
conversation analysis; critical discourse analysis; discourse of power; doctor-patient communication; institutional talk; interruption; medical encounter