Beyond the patient-doctor dyad: Examining “other” patient engagement in Traditional Chinese Medicine consultations

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This paper explores the unique phenomenon of “other” patient participation in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Specifically, it focuses on cases where doctors enlist the help of bystanders to address patient resistance and advance their medical agendas. By analyzing video-recorded practitioner-patient interactions in TCM hospitals, this study uncovers the various roles that third parties can assume during these medical interactions. The research identifies three distinct forms of “other” patient participation: the “other” patient as an illness-free individual providing a contrasting case, the “other” patient as a lay witness to the patient's clinical manifestations, and the “other” patient as a recovered fellow patient demonstrating treatment effectiveness. The findings of this study contribute to existing research on patient resistance and triadic medical interactions, offering insights into the dynamics and implications of third-party involvement in medical consultations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116390
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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