Communication skills, expertise and ethics in healthcare education and practice


  • Srikant Sarangi Aalborg University; Cardiff University
  • Maria Grazia Rossi Universidade NOVA de Lisboa



interview, healthcare education, healthcare practice


This interview represents an opportunity to take stock of the positioning of our discipline – broadly characterised as discourse / rhetoric / communication studies – in the context of healthcare education and practice, while at the same time exploring intersections between communication/discourse/rhetoric and ethics, through the discussion of what is articulated as the framework of ‘communication ethics’. More specifically, the notions of relationality and responsibility are alluded to as being the core of communication ethics – an effort to extend the notion of ‘communication expertise’, as outlined in previous research, as a necessary point of departure from the communication skills view which currently dominates healthcare education and practice.

The interview was first published as ‘Communication skills, expertise and ethics in healthcare education and practice’, as part of a Special Issue titled ‘Rhetoric and Health’, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio (RIFL) 15 (1): 106–122,

Author Biographies

  • Srikant Sarangi, Aalborg University; Cardiff University

    Srikant Sarangi was Professor in Humanities and Medicine and Director of the Danish Institute of Humanities and Medicine (DIHM) between 2013 and 2021 at Aalborg University, Denmark, where he continues as Adjunct Professor. Between 1993 and 2013, he was Professor in Language and Communication and Director of the Health Communication Research Centre at Cardiff University (UK), where he continues as Emeritus Professor. As a leading researcher in institutional and professional discourse from an applied linguistics perspective, much of his work over the past two decades has focused on healthcare communication in a variety of settings (including genetic counselling, HIV/AIDS, primary care, palliative care, telemedicine). His analytical approach combines discourse analysis, pragmatics and rhetorical analysis to offer specific insights into healthcare practice. More recently, he has developed notions such as communication expertise and communication ethics in arguing for the centrality of humanities in healthcare.

    He is the founding editor (beginning 2004) of Communication & Medicine (Equinox) and Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice (formerly Journal of Applied Linguistics, Equinox). He has been editor (since 1998) of TEXT & TALK: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse and Communication Studies (formerly TEXT, Mouton de Gruyter). As editor of these well-established journals, he has devoted his efforts to promoting both interdisciplinary and translational research. 

  • Maria Grazia Rossi, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

    Maria Grazia Rossi received her PhD from the Universita di Messina, Italy, in 2012. She currently works as an invited auxiliary professor and postdoctoral researcher at the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa. Her current research, in the fields of philosophy of language and healthcare communication, focuses on the role of metaphors as argumentative tools to foster patient understanding. She has worked on metaphors and emotions as reasoning and decision-making tools, especially in medical and moral contexts. She has published a monograph, edited books and several papers in major international journals, e.g. Journal of Pragmatics, Health Communication and Frontiers in Psychology.


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Forum Discussion

How to Cite

Sarangi, S., & Rossi, M. G. (2024). Communication skills, expertise and ethics in healthcare education and practice. Communication and Medicine, 19(2), 162-175.