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Techne or Artful Science and the Genre of Case Presentations in Healthcare Settings
Communication Monographs
  • Catherine F. Schryer, University of Waterloo
  • Lorelei Lingard, University of Toronto
  • Marlee M. Spafford, University of Waterloo
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This paper presents a qualitative study that investigated the role of case presentations in the socialization of medical and optometry students. Using the debate from classical rhetoric around the term techne (art or science), we observed that genre theory helps explain the way case presentations mediate the development of professional identity through the interaction of certain knowledge (techne 1), “savvy” knowledge (techne 2), and ethical reflection (phronesis). We noted that these mediated scenes of learning are necessary but problematic because they can lead students to yearn for certainty and to exclude outsiders (other healthcare providers, patients). Finally, our research challenges the binary opposition that exists between art and science especially for professions that bring their disciplinary knowledge into practice.


Dr. Lorelei Lingard is currently a faculty member at The University of Western Ontario.

Citation Information
Catherine F. Schryer, Lorelei Lingard and Marlee M. Spafford. "Techne or Artful Science and the Genre of Case Presentations in Healthcare Settings" Communication Monographs Vol. 72 Iss. 2 (2005) p. 234 - 260
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