Health care professionals “coming out”: A critical dialogue

John Coveney, Lee Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Optimisation of the professional self involves critically analysing training, practice and policy in health care professions. In health more broadly, critics have highlighted how individual self-management, self-responsibilisation and self-optimisation have become the goals of prevention, treatment and care. Less researched is the way that health professionals optimise themselves. We use a conversational turn-taking method which deliberately employs strategies for critically “coming out” as our verbalised autobiographies reveal our earlier experiences as health professionals where professional self-optimisation was a quotidian event which informed our later thinking as academics concerned with critically analysing the incitement towards population self-responsibilisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-812
Number of pages10
JournalEthnologie Francaise
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Critical public health
  • Health professionals
  • Health promotion
  • Reflective practice
  • Self-optimisation


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