Book: Communication in Surgical Practice
Chapter: Chapter 2 The Referred Consultation
Numerous descriptions of the overall structure of doctor-patient consultations have shown that the structure consists of an interactional project based on a series of interdependent activities. This chapter offers an empirical description of referred surgeon-patient consultations. Using Conversation analysis (CA), which has been successful in the research of communication in health care, we analyse video-recorded consultations, describing the series of interrelated activities that are put into play when a patient is referred to a surgical clinic. Through this analysis, we that while surgeon-patient consultations follow a similar overall structural organization to other areas of medical practice, participants orient to the relevance of the referral letter in a specific sequence at the beginning of initial (referred) surgeon-patient consultations.