“Multiple G. S.Ws to the chest. B.P. 90 over 60. Pulse in the 120s. Push 1 of epi!” A preliminary study on the representation of spoken medical English in Grey’s Anatomy


This paper explores the representation of spoken medical English in Grey’s Anatomy (Rhymes 2005-still running), a very popular American TV series set in a hospital environment. Given the shortage of authentic materials portraying spoken medical interactions, medical dramas, which are becoming increasingly accurate, globally acclaimed, represent a useful source to study oral communications in this professional domain. The analysis is based on a sample of episodes in which four main recurrent types of medical-related situations were isolated featuring both expert-to-expert and expert- nonexpert conversations: i) the arrival at ER, ii) the discussion of the clinical case between physicians, iii) the discussion of the clinical case between doctor and patient and iv) the medical procedure. The qualitative assessment of the medical sequences pertaining to the four situational contexts, of which doctor-doctor interactions came out as the most represented ones, revealed some recurrent linguistic usages and attached pragmatic functions. Such results constitute an interesting basis for studies on the authenticity of the representation of oral medical discourse in televisual products.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v40p187

Keywords: televisual language; specialised TV series, English for specific purposes, spoken medical English.


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