Discourse analysis is the study of language in action: it allows us to not only consider the literal meaning of the words we use, but their subtext, symbolism, and substance. In a recent study, interviews from CAPC’s Breaking Point podcast were used to explore how palliative care clinicians used language to shape and demonstrate key aspects of what it means to be a palliative care provider during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how this characterization differed from the dominant media narrative of health care heroes. This panel discussion will provide attendees with an overview of why the language we use matters, and explore themes emerging from this study, allowing an opportunity for reflection and discussion of their lived experiences.

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