The Association for Medical Humanities Council is a small, elected group who represent the interests of the Association’s members in developing the medical humanities culture in the UK and internationally. The membership and functions of the Council are set out in the AMH CONSTITUTION. Council meets four times a year including the Annual General Meeting at the Annual Conference. We encourage members to seek admission to Council as and when membership posts arise.


Immediate Past President

Professor Alan Bleakley (term of office 2013-2016)

Alan BleakleyAlan is Emeritus Professor of Medical Education and Medical Humanities Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine, and Visiting Scholar The Wilson Centre University of Toronto. He first studied Zoology and Physiology and Biochemistry, then Psychology and Education – also training as a psychotherapist and gaining his DPhil from Sussex University. He has worked clinically as a psychotherapist and has become a leading figure in medical education and medical humanities internationally.

His published work includes many articles and book chapters in medical education and medical humanities and ten books, most recently Patient-centred Medicine in Transition: The Heart of the Matter (2014, Springer) that was shortlisted and won ‘highly commended’ in the British Medical Association’s (BMA) ‘Books of the Year 2014′. Alan is a widely published poet and a keen surfer, now in his 51st year of surfing. His new book on the medical humanities is Medical Humanities and Medical Education: How The Medical Humanities Can Shape Better Doctors (2015) London: Routledge.


President (2016-9) and Acting Treasurer (2016-7)

Dr Joseph O’Dwyer

Joe has worked as a doctor in the NHS for over 30 years. He has always had an interest in medical ethics; becoming a consultant in anaesthesia and pain management stimulated a broader interest in medical humanities and the impact that engagement with the arts might have on the pain experience.   In 2008 he joined the Association for Medical Humanities and in 2012 completed a MA in Medical Humanities at Swansea University. Joe served as the Treasurer of the AMH from 2010-2016 and became President in July 2016 at the AGM in Greenwich. His focus as president will be to strengthen the core structure of the AMH and to increase its value to members.

Vice President (2016-9) and Membership Secretary (2015 – )

Dr Jennifer Patterson, Greenwich University London

Jennifer-Patterson-2I am a Feminist critical theorist with a background in 20th Century French and Art History, I believe focused study in Humanities fires creative imagination through encounters with others and with other ways of thinking and being. I am a practising complementary therapist, working in social sciences as Senior Lecturer in Education at The University of Greenwich. I teach mainly on interdisciplinary Education and Childhood Studies Degrees, and the Education Doctorate. I am principal investigator for the Listening to Patients’ Project and the Natural Learning and Environments Centre at The University and a visiting lecturer on the interdisciplinary MA in Women’s Studies at Ruskin College, Oxford.

I am particularly interested in the use of narrative, both diagnostically and as a new paradigm that focuses on the medium of communication rather than ontologies as a means of developing greater equity within research practices.

Tel: 0208 331 8344 (Direct Line)

Secretary (2016-9)

Linda Turner

image010Linda Turner is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton with a MA(Ed) in Literature and Language in Education. She introduced Medical Humanities into year 1 of the BM curriculum in 2008 as a mandatory module and leads an interdisciplinary staff group that teaches options in art, drama, music, creative writing, film and cultural studies to medical students. She has 25 years’ experience of innovative curriculum design and delivery in further and higher education and her own speciality is literature and narrative in medicine. She has presented papers nationally and internationally on curriculum delivery, teaching and learning and Medical Humanities and has supervised research projects in these areas.

Linda organised and hosted the AMH 2014 conference, ‘The Art of Compassion’, at Southampton and has co-curated two Medical Humanities exhibitions (2011 & 2014) at the Hartley Level 4 Gallery, Southampton, featuring work created by students and artists exploring experiences of health and illness.

Other members

Professor Deborah Bowman (Editor of the British Medical Journal group’s Medical Humanities) (standing position)


Elected members

1. Dr Ciara Breathnach

1. Dr Paul Dakin (2016-2019)

P1010465Paul is a GP in North London. He teaches medical students for King’s and UCL and is a postgraduate trainer in General Practice. He offers sessions in Medical Humanities to VTS and Trainers’ workshops.He has a Master’s in Literature and Medicine from KCL and a research interest in representations of deafness. He has written three books and numerous articles. (Paul is waiting for his novel to be published and is a bodybuilder.)  He was AMH Secretary from 2013-6.

3. Dr Ian Fussell, General Practitioner, Newquay; Community Sub-Dean Exeter Medical School, Truro campus (2014-2017)

IMG_1068Ian is a part-time General Practitioner in Newquay, Cornwall and is the Community Sub Dean in Truro for Exeter Medical School, where he is the locality lead for Medical Humanities. He has worked as a Senior Clinical Advisor to Cornwall and Isles of Scilly PCT and oversaw the local development of the appraisal system and assisted in the national development of revalidation of doctors. He runs a popular music based Special Study Unit and is currently working with a street artist on a collaborative project looking at the development of tolerance of ambiguity in medical students. Ian plays the bass guitar in a local band.

4.  Dr Angela Hodgson-Teal


5.  Lloyd Houston


6. Dr Lisetta Lovett (2013-2016; 2016-2019)

Photo%20on%2012-16-13%20at%2012.06%20PM%20#2-2Lisetta was a Consultant psychiatrist for 20 years before her recent retirement from the Health service and Senior Lecturer in Medical Education for 10 years at Keele Medical School. She is now an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities at Keele University. At the medical school she introduced medical humanities into the undergraduate curriculum and built up a range of topics for Special Study modules. Her research interest is history of medicine on which she co -authored a book designed to help busy tutors introduce history into their specialist area (Medical History Education for Health Practitioners, Lovett, L. and Tomkins, A. Radcliffe 2013).

She has also published on the asylum keeper Thomas Bakewell, written a chapter on the neuro-novel (The Syndrome Syndrome, ed. Lustig, T.J. and Peacock, J. Routledge 2013) and coauthored a book on medical ethics (Practical Medical Ethics. Seedhouse, D. and Lovett L.J. Wiley 1991). She holds a Diploma in History of Medicine and is a Fellow of the Faculty of History and Philosophy of Medicine, Society of Apothecaries . She is currently researching a book on medical practice in the 18th century.

7.  Dr Vassilka Nikolova


8. Dr Deborah Padfield


9. Prof Zoe Playdon (2016-2019)


10. Dr Alison Williams (2013-2016)

picture%20-%20Alison%20WilliamsI am a senior lecturer in French in the Department of Languages, Translation and Communication at Swansea University. My interest in the Medical Humanities is based around research into the depiction of health, disease, patients and practitioners in literature, most particularly literature from the pre-modern period. My work also includes the history of medicine and investigations into the therapeutic role of literature and humour in wellbeing.


11. Dr Ian Williams (2014-2017)

Ian_Williams_by_Stephen_Lamprell_038_245x0__false_nocrop_trueIan is a comics artist, physician and writer, now living in Brighton. He has studied Medicine, Medical Humanities and Fine Art and he originated the website, coining the term that has been applied to the interaction between the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare. He is joint Series Editor for a forthcoming series of books entitled Graphic Medicine from Penn State University Press. The Bad Doctor is his debut graphic novel.

Visit Ian’s website here and the Graphic Medicine website here.


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