Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) dealt in many of his short stories and plays with various phenomena as encountered in everyday medical practice in late 19th century Russia. In A Case History (1898) Chekhov illustrates the physician's many positions in relation to his patient. According to Mikhail Bakhtin's philosophy of language, a speaker occupies a certain position from which he or she addresses the listener. A phenomenon may gain different meanings depending on the position from which it is addressed. In his story Chekhov describes how the patient was at first addressed solely from a medical point of view, without any relief to her suffering. Only when the physician was able to shift his position in a manner which offered the patient an opportunity to be heard as a person was she able to express the true nature of her illness and to find new ways for palliation and cure.
- Mikhail Bakhtin
- doctor-patient communication
- medical consultation
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Raimo Puustinen, MD, is a General Practitioner in Outokumpu, Finland.