“Out Patients” by Elise Wu Response (Ashley Borja)
“Out Patients” written by Elise Wu reveals her experience with Factitious Disorder– a disorder in which a person feigns an illness with the intent of playing the role of a patient. Wu focuses on the subculture within “FD” patients and the way they interact with others. Throughout the article, she creates a verbal portrait of the community by demonstrating the behaviors she observed in an online forum and message board. Wu focuses on her personal narrative and the narratives of those on these websites. She also inserts her feelings toward certain figures and creates vernacular that describes the community.
Elise Wu uses multiple sources to consult and gather knowledge of FD culture. She makes use of her narrative– Wu identified with the FD culture and inserted her opinions into the article. She begins the article with a vivid description of memory that took place in an ER. Wu also consults with an online forum and group message board to better understand different perspectives within the culture. The forum mostly consisted of those the FD patients have “played” for–while the message board is for those suffering from FD. Wu made sure to keep her identity anonymous so that she could respect her privacy during the process. She triangulated the data from her findings by using both online and offline sources to be better informed.
Throughout the text, Elise Wu uses footnotes to contextualize her use of the sources in the article. The footnotes oftentimes served as a definition for certain terms so that readers with no medical background can better understand the information given. Lastly, footnotes in this article demonstrate a timeline– providing various dates for sources.