Adding to expert and lay efforts to analyze complex biopsychosocial elements of human life, this introductory chapter argues that theorizing rhetorical ethos (or credibility/good character) beyond earned or deserved credibility and kakoethos (or poor character) that is neither earned nor deserved, but is based on biases, is a powerful way to frame inquiries into everyday talk and writing and their role in patient empowerment. This introductory chapter overviews the chapters herein and how they specifically demonstrate the role stigmas and biases play in clinical settings and share patients’ vernacular strategies, drawn from diverse empirical data, for continually building and rebuilding credibility in everyday health and medical contexts of great consequence—especially when credibility is unfairly compromised. This chapter sets the stage for the work to come by establishing the book’s goals, defining research areas under study, detailing methods while justifying their use, and briefly overviewing the theories that emerged from the studies herein. Chapter 1 specifically uses rhetoric of health and medicine (RHM)-related scholarship alongside vernacular rhetorical work to build a case for exploring credibility or rhetorical ethos and its ongoing role in recovering the physical, social, emotional and professional losses that come with unjust or stigmatizing health and medical experiences.