The study of the medical humanities as an academic discipline in the UK and Ireland is still relatively new to medicine and the other healthcare professions. The Association for Medical Humanities therefore aims to fill an identifiable need by bringing together those in these professions, both inside and outside the universities, who work in the field or have a belief in its value and expansion.

The Association was founded in February 2002 at a meeting held at the University of Birmingham Medical School, out of an original initiative supported by The Nuffield Trust. The aim of the Association is to promote, within the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, the medical humanities in education, healthcare and research. The Association is linked to the journal Medical Humanities (edition of the Journal of Medical Ethics).We have organised a number of initiatives such as a regular annual academic conference (Durham 2003; Swansea 2004 ; Truro 2005; London2006; Glasgow 2008 and Durham 2009) and other meetings, publish a newsletter, provide regular information on initiatives, degree programmes, research results and much else.


University College Cork, July 9-11, 2012.
‘Medical Identities: patients and professionals’

The 2012 conference of the Association for Medical Humanities will take place at University College Cork, Ireland, with the kind support of the Wellcome Trust. Organised in conjunction with the Consortium for Medical Humanities, an inter-University initiative to develop research in Medical Humanities in Ireland, the theme is ‘Medical Identities: patients and professionals’, and we hope that it is one that will allow for a broad interpretation of the development of the profession, and of the people who use and serve it. Themes may include:

• Local, regional and national medical identities related to place and space.
• Medical migrants (movement in search of treatment and training)
• The impact of culture, politics and socialisation on medical practice
• The development of identities – professional hierarchies within and between specialisms
• Alternative therapies
• Rise of advocacy groups – the emergence of a collective patient identity
• Professional organisation – the development of the BMA/IMA
• Changes in identity as a result of medical intervention – amputees, etc.
• Medicine in war
• Patient as consumer: private medical care
• Charitable medicine – Medecins Sans Frontieres versus medical missionaries

Conference Organising Committee:
Dr Oonagh Walsh, University College Cork, Dr Ciara Breathnach, University of Limerick, and Dr Olwen Purdue, Queen’s University Belfast.

Please send a 200 word proposal to the organisers at by February 29, 2012. Suggestions for panels are also welcomed.

Download this information: AMH Cork 2012

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Last updated  18 January 2012

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