Healthcare professionals “coming out”: A critical dialogue

By John Coveney, Lee Thompson


Focusing on self-optimization in the workplace involves critically analyzing training, practices, and policies. In health care more broadly, critics have highlighted how self-management, self-responsibilization, and self-optimization have become the goals of prevention, treatment, and care. Less researched is the way in which healthcare professionals optimize themselves. We use a conversational turn-taking method that deliberately employs strategies for critically “coming out,” as our verbalized autobiographies reveal our earlier experiences as healthcare professionals, where we were faced with professional self-optimization on a daily basis, which informed our later thinking as academics concerned with critically analyzing the incitement toward self-responsibilization.


  • healthcare professionals
  • reflective practice
  • self-optimization
  • health promotion
  • critical public health
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