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Rhetoric: Health and Medicine

  • By: Lisa Keränen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Health care providers, patients, and organizations routinely rely on rhetoric, or persuasive language, to accomplish their goals and daily routines. The scope of rhetoric of and about health and medicine is vast, spanning intrapersonal through group, public, organizational, mediated, visual, and global contexts. Health and medical rhetoric infuses every aspect of health care practice from insurance forms and patient intake interviews through online support groups for particular health conditions, pharmaceutical advertisements, e-mail exchanges between providers and patients, and mass-mediated representations of illness. Given the prominence of health care in the 21st century and the fact that health care is a booming industry, attention to the rhetoric of health and medicine, which relies on but revises and transcends theories from the Greco-Roman rhetorical tradition, is ...

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