“I’ll suggest that to your doctor”

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A restricted interactional practice in a specialist UK obesity clinic leaves the clinic consultant unable to refer without risk to certain recommended weight loss interventions as definite and guaranteed. This chapter draws on video-recorded clinic consultations to discuss the operation of this interactional restriction in the treatment discussion phase of the encounter. Analysis shows that the withholding of references to institutional clinic constraints constructs the restricted interactional practice in operation. Various other interactional practices are then drawn on to manage this restriction, ensuring that the tasks of the treatment discussion phase are accomplished. This incorporates the construction of particular institutional roles and normative identities for the consultant and patient. These findings add to conversation analytic understanding of healthcare consultations and of the management of interactional restrictions in institutional settings.


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