Health Professionals' Public Representations of Expert Identity

A. McKinlay, C. McVittie, Karen Goodall

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


Background: This study examines how psychiatrists display their expert identity as a health professional in the context of interviews designed for radio broadcast. Methods: In this qualitative study, 13 interviews between a professional journalist and practising psychiatrists from the UK and the USA were analysed using discourse analysis. Findings: Results showed that interviewees constructed or refuted competing versions of psychiatric expertise within their descriptions of their profession. The participants explicitly dismiss popular portrayals of psychiatric expertise but rely upon their own professional expertise to do so. However, their criticisms of popular versions of psychiatric expertise are presented in ways that are sensitive as to how they will be heard by a listening audience. Discussion: These findings show how psychiatric health professionals negotiate occupational identity while attending to potential
problems of being heard as critical of, or hostile towards, lay people and their understandings of psychiatry as a health profession.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-275
Number of pages1
JournalPsychology & Health
Issue numberSupp. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event“Resiliance and Health” : 26th Conference of the European Health Psychology Society - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 21 Aug 201225 Aug 2012


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