Cardiff Centre for Medical Education (C4ME) 2017 Seminar Series
Critically engaged medical humanities: the model of ‘Life of Breath’
Can the arts and humanities make a real difference to clinical practice and research? This lecture takes up that challenge by describing a new trajectory for medical humanities which is demonstrating that the field can go further than simply ‘humanising’ clinical students and practitioners. I will illustrate the changing face and current ambition for this field with reference to a project that is underway at the Centre for Medical Humanities at Durham University. This project, the Life of Breath, is funded by a Senior Investigator Award from the Wellcome Trust. The Life of Breath, unlike much work in medical humanities which is focussed on mental illness, is concerned with the experiences of breathing and breathlessness and with the somatic symptom of dyspnoea (unpleasant or difficult breathlessness). This symptom is associated with many common chronic conditions, especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a major public health problem which is currently rated the fourth biggest global cause of death in developed countries. Our medical humanities approach to this problem aims to show that by bringing phenomenological, cultural and historical perspectives into dialogue with clinical science and practice, we can open out possible new approaches to research and also find innovative ways to overcome the stigma that so often marginalises those who suffer from breathlessness.
Seminar starts at 5.00 pm. Refreshments will be available from 4.30 pm. Places at this seminar are limited and booking is essential.
Professor Jane Macnaughton
Jane Macnaughton is Professor of Medical Humanities at Durham University in the UK and Co-Director of the University’s Centre for Medical Humanities (CMH). She is Dean of Undergraduate Medicine with strategic oversight of Durham’s Phase I Medicine programme which has a significant community-based component.
She has published in the fields of medical education, medical humanities, literature and medicine, history of medicine and health care environments. Recently her work has focussed on somatic symptoms, especially the problem of chronic breathlessness, which is the subject of her Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award, the Life of Breath, held jointly with Professor Havi Carel at Bristol.
Her books include, Clinical Judgement (OUP, 2000, with Robin Downie), Madness and Creativity in Literature and Culture (Palgrave, 2005, with Corinne Saunders), The Body and the Arts (Palgrave, 2009, with Corinne Saunders and Ulrika Maude) and The Recovery of Beauty (Palgrave 2015, with Corinne Saunders and David Fuller). She is co-editor of the Edinburgh Companion to Critical Medical Humanities which was published in 2016. Jane was a founder member of the UK’s Association for Medical Humanities (AMH) and was joint editor of the journal Medical Humanities until 2008. Jane’s current clinical work is in gynaecology and she is an Honorary Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University Hospital of North Durham.
If driving, please note that parking may be difficult so you will need to allow plenty of time.
Date and Time
Cardiff Centre for Medical Education (C4ME)
Lecture Theatre 4
University Hospital of Wales Main Building