Barbara Heifferon is a Professor of English at Louisiana State University.
She is a national leader of medical rhetoric, a sub-specialty that bridges several fields, including English, technical and professional communication, composition studies, and communication.
She is the editor of the first volume of essays on medical rhetoric, Rhetoric of Healthcare Essays Toward a New Disciplinary Inquiry (2008). This volume, the first in medical rhetoric as such, brings rhetorical inquiry to the fields of medicine, health, and disease, as well as the discursive and writing modes within and about them.
The chapters illustrate the wide range of topics and analytic strategies rhetoricians bring to a complex social problem. They also offer valuable new insights into several medical disciplines and the languages essential to them.
Barbara is also the author of the book, Writing in the Health Professions, which is a widely used textbook for writing courses in a number of disciplines. She also co-edited a special issue of Technical Communication Quarterly on medical rhetoric (2000). In addition, she is the founder of a the special interest group, Medical Rhetoric, that meets annually at the Conference on College Composition and Communication. They also founded a website, bibliography, and other resources surrounding medical rhetoric.