Volume 27, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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Most studies in the area of doctor-patient communication focus on the talk that doctors perform during the consultation, leaving under-researched the discourse developed by patients. This article deconstructs and identifies the functions and forms of the (i.e. specific forms of talk) that Chilean patients employ in their interactions with general practitioners. Patients use four different in the interaction: and are the most frequently used by both female and male patients and constitute the object of analysis and interpretation for this study. The use of these reflects the patients’ role in the Western medical institutions, knowledge about health issues, social identity and aspiration to better understand health problems. I conclude that medical communicative practices that favour the development of patients’ discourse can improve patients’ knowledge of medical issues which in turn may have a positive impact on patients’ health.


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