Medicine and health care play a significant role in contemporary human life. From birth to death, a complex tangle of hospitals and clinics, doctors and nurses, medical industry workers and insurance agencies, alternative healers and health gurus, pharmacies and fitness centers work to improve the health and wellness of the citizenry. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the United States alone spends more than 16% of its gross domestic product on health care, which attests to the prominence of medical and health matters in both everyday experience and national discourse. Although medicine is a professional industry intended to heal the body and mind, its practice relies deeply on rhetoric, or strategic language, to accomplish its day-to-day operations. This entry reviews how rhetoric matters ...

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