Expertise in Context

John C. Lammers, Natalie J. Lambert, Bryan Abendschein, Tobias Reynolds-tylus, Kira A. Varava

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines how expertise operates inside of a hospital emergency department. The argument is made that physicians’ expertise is a product of both an already recognized and institutionalized attribution that doctors act as experts and active communication present in work interactions. Findings are presented from a study involving field work in an emergency department doctor’s room, which captured the actions and interactions among physicians and other workers consulting each other on patient care issues. A semantic analysis of the talk of doctors during work, along with an examination of how doctors viewed their own work, revealed both the topics and types of expertise expressed by physicians. The findings demonstrate that physicians’ expertise exists both cognitively in the sense they know things unique to being a doctor, and communicatively in that they interact with others to apply knowledge and solve emergent problems.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExpertise, Communication, and Organizing
EditorsJeffrey W. Treem, Paul M. Leonardi
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780198739227
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • expertise
  • semantic network analysis
  • professionalism
  • doctors
  • communication


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