|Author(s)||Søren Beck Nielsen|
|Title||“If you don’t get better, you may come back here”: proposing conditioned follow-ups to the doctor’s office|
|Tag(s)||Conversation Analysis, Medical interaction, grammar and interaction, Medical EMCA, EMCA|
|Journal||Text & Talk - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse Communication Studies|
Previous research has established that conversationalists treat “arrangement making” as closure implicative contributions. This study adds “conditioned arrangement making” to the list with an examination of how general practitioners propose conditioned follow-ups to patients, that is, the opportunity to return to the clinic if their condition does not improve or if it should worsen. The data consists of 52 audio-/video-recorded naturally occurring general practice consultations in Denmark. Using the conversation analytic method, the paper examines why the hypotheticality of this particular kind of proposition making is a resource for practitioners in terms of accomplishing progression towards termination of the consultation, and also in terms of accomplishing agreement upon appropriate, responsible and reassuring treatment plans. Among other things, conditioned follow-up propositions enable doctors to communicate “no problem” diagnoses while preserving care continuity. The study, therefore, contributes to the understanding of how use of grammatical formats such as conditional clauses influences institutional interaction.