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Living with Alzheimer'sManaging Memory Loss, Identity, and Illness$
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Renée L. Beard

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479800117

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479800117.001.0001

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Constructing Facts in Clinical Practice

Constructing Facts in Clinical Practice

Interpreting, Diagnosing, and Treating Memory Loss

Chapter:
(p.50) 3 Constructing Facts in Clinical Practice
Source:
Living with Alzheimer's
Author(s):

Renée L. Beard

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479800117.003.0004

This chapter delineates the information doctors consider relevant to making a diagnosis, how data are gathered and interpreted in clinical practice, what happens when clinicians disagree, how those seeking evaluation are told their results, how the answers to these questions differ according to whether evaluations are conducted by a neurologist or a psychiatrist, and whether or not anything is really being done to help patients after they are diagnosed. Despite the seemingly obvious disciplinary differences, data reveal codified routines that support a common goal of moving individuals from the category of “potential patients” to that of patients, and ultimately research subjects, by establishing trust and highlighting uncertainty. Work practices support the routine collection of information, standardized symptom classification techniques, and assumptions of patient incompetence while discouraging qualitative, narrative data. Uncovering the tropes that clinicians use demonstrates how organizational ethos and work practices influence the social fabric of cognitive evaluations.

Keywords:   codified routines, research subjects, highlighting uncertainty, establishing trust, standardized, assumptions of patient incompetence, work practices, potential patients, psychiatrist, neurologist

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