Genre Analysis of Medical Case Presentations: A Comparison between Case Presentations Written by Native and Taiwanese Physicians

By Hsuan Hung, Pi-Ching Chen and Jing-Jane Tsai.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Despite the important role case presentations play in the medical field, little research has been done into their functional features and little pedagogical instruction has been suggested for case presentations writing instruction. This study uses hand-tagged move analysis and a concordance program to explore the rhetoric differences between case presentations from an international medical journal and a Taiwan-published medical journal. Ten case presentations were used respectively in this paper. Eight moves were identified, namely (1) history of present illness, (2) past history, (3) personal history, (4) family history, (5) drug history, (6) physical examinations, (7) laboratory findings and (8) clinical course. These were then used to describe the structure occurring in the case presentations. The findings of this study point out that both of the two corpora focus on Moves 1, 6, 7 and 8. In terms of word use, a high proportion of high frequency words and medical terminology occurred in the case presentations. It was found that international case presentations used more function words while Taiwan-published journal tended to use more content words. However, Move 7 in the international case presentations used more function words and content words than the Taiwan-published case presentations. The findings in this study are particularly useful to non-native case presentation writers not only allowing them to gain a better understanding of international case presentations but also giving them a better insight into the process of writing case presentations for publication.

Keywords: Case Reports, Genre, Move, Medical English, International Medical Journal, Taiwan-Published Medical Journal

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.167-178. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 668.738KB).

Hsuan Hung

Graduate Student, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan

Hsuan Hung is a graduate student in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Cheng Kung University, R. O. C. Also, she is an English teacher in the elementary school. Her research experience includes English teaching and learning, instruction of reader theaters, reading strategies. Now she works on English for medical purposes.

Dr. Pi-Ching Chen

Department of International Business, Chang Jung Christian University, Taiwan

Dr. Chen earned her MA degree from Oklahoma City University and the doctoral degree from University of South Dakota. Her research interests are TESOL and English for Specific Purposes (ESP).

Dr. Jing-Jane Tsai

Department of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan

Dr. Tsai earned his doctoral degree from College of Medicine, Free University of West Berlin, Germany. His research interests are epilepsy and medical education.

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