A Contemporary Etymology of the American Medical Patient from 1980 to 2000

Master's Thesis


While most research on patients explores the patient-physician relationship, this paper examines the conceptualization and meaning of patients. Given this focus, my research explores the evolution of the meaning of being a patient. I use qualitative document analysis to examine the first meeting of the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates for each year from 1980 to 2000. I find that the use of the word patient includes both individualized and generalized terms that describe patients. I find that the generalized cases exist in both a medical and social form. I conclude proposing that a conceptualization of a patient using the social generalized form allows for future research on social phenomena to be undertaken in a shared language with physicians.


Attribute NameValues
Author Kevin Hans Waitkuweit
Contributor David Gibson, Committee Member
Contributor Lynette P. Spillman, Research Director
Contributor Eugene Halton, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Sociology
Degree Name Master of Arts
Banner Code
  • MA-SOC

Defense Date
  • 2020-01-17

Submission Date 2020-01-27
  • Medical Sociology

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units
Catalog Record


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