The Association for Medical Humanities Council consists of up to 15 elected members, including four Officers, and student council members who represent the interests of the Association’s members in developing the medical humanities culture in the UK and internationally. Eligibility for election to and the functions of the Council are set out in the AMH Constitution. Currently the AMH Council meets four times a year including the Annual General Meeting, normally held at the Annual Conference. We encourage members to seek admission to Council as and when membership posts arise.

Current Officers and Council members, with major areas of responsibility as indicated, are:

Jennifer Patterson

President 2019 (Vice President (2016-19) and Membership Secretary (2013-2017) Conference Convenor, Greenwich 2016)

Jennifer Patterson is the current elected President of the Association for Medical Humanities.

I am an interdisciplinary feminist critical theorist with a doctoral research background in radical embodied readings of 20th Century French Surrealist literature and art history from UCL, London. Following time in business and journalism, I am now a part-time Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Health and Human Sciences at the University of Greenwich and a practicing Complementary Therapist of over 15 years. I currently teach professional health and education doctoral students. Since 2006, I have led a significant number of externally funded research and enterprise projects and published several peer reviewed journal articles and chapters in books. I see writing as activism, often based on experience, related to equity, rights and social justice, questioning cultural and ethical assumptions. I like to write about different things and use an interdisciplinary toolbox of applied feminist theory, applied sociology with creative use of linguistic visual and verbal methods such as discourse analysis and narrative analysis. My research and publishing uses theory to question and disrupt topics and normative assumptions in two key interdisciplinary areas: the Medical/Health Humanities and Sustainability Education. Latterly these combine in a focus on sustainable health with particular reference to women’s life-course events, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and menstrual hygiene practices, and thinking with and without a uterus. I am interested in the practical application of research projects I am involved in and have written on impact and been nominated for impact awards. For many years I was a visiting lecturer on the MA in Women’s Studies at Ruskin College, Oxford. I have also worked as an editor and translator outside of academia and have trained in Narrative medicine with Rita Charon in New York. I continue to work on the Listening to Patients’ Project and published the edited book Body Talk in Medical Humanities with Francia Kinchington in 2019.

Jo Winning

Vice President 2019

Jo Winning is Reader in Modern Literature and Critical Theory at Birkbeck, University of London. She is Director of the Birkbeck Centre for Medical Humanities and Programme Director of Birkbeck's MA Applied Medical Humanities and MPhil/PhD Medical Humanities programmes. Jo's teaching and research focus particularly on the interface between critical theory, clinical practice and patient experience, locating the ways that the epistemologies and methodologies of the humanities disciplines are intrinsic to the training and practice of medicine.

Linda Turner

Secretary 2019 (Conference Convenor, Southampton, 2014)

Linda 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.

Bridget MacDonald

Treasurer 2019 (Council Member (2017-2020))

Bridget MacDonald is a consultant neurologist working between Croydon University and St George's Hospitals in South West London. She has a rather eclectic interest in medical humanities in addition to postgraduate medical education. Her clinical interests are the practice of general neurology, epilepsy, learning disability and brain tumours.

Dr Angela Hodgson-Teal (2016-19)

Membership Secretary 2017 - 2020

Angela is an artist and researcher at the University of the Arts London, where she is in the final stages of a collaborative, socially engaged doctoral study Drawing on the Nature of Empathy.

Her research focused on the benefits (and complications) of drawing within a multi-ethnic series of hospital communities in South East London, where she was a consultant microbiologist and college tutor for many years. Drawing was used to touch the craft skills of medicine, explore emotions and thoughts, referencing the work of Brazilian artist Lygia Clark, in the late 1960s and 70s. Special study modules in Medical Humanities, with final year medical students, fed into the research.

Dr Deborah Padfield


Deborah is a visual artist specialising in lens based media and inter-disciplinary practice and research within Fine Art and Medicine. She is currently a Teaching Fellow and Honorary Research Associate at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL (where she also received her PhD). She has collaborated extensively with clinicians and patients exploring the value of visual images to clinician-patient interactions and the communication of pain.

Her recent collaboration with Professor Joanna Zakrzewska and facial pain clinicians and patients from UCLH led to several exhibitions, symposia and the current UCL CHIRP funded project Pain: speaking the threshold. She lectures and exhibits nationally and internationally, most recently at the Houston Center for Photography and the 16th World Congress of Anaesthesiologists in Hong Kong. She co-organised the Encountering Pain Conference at University College London (UCL) in July 2016 and is the recipient of a number of awards including: Sciart Research Award and the UCL Provosts Award for Public Engagement 2012.
Photo © Liz Treacher
Her research focused on the benefits (and complications) of drawing within a multi-ethnic series of hospital communities in South East London, where she was a consultant microbiologist and college tutor for many years. Drawing was used to touch the craft skills of medicine, explore emotions and thoughts, referencing the work of Brazilian artist Lygia Clark, in the late 1960s and 70s. Special study modules in Medical Humanities, with final year medical students, fed into the research.

Prof Zoe Playdon


Originally trained as an archaeologist and historian, I chose my third subject, English Literature, to start my career as a teacher in an inner-city comprehensive school. Somehow, I subsequently became a senior civil servant at the Department of Education and Science and then Head of Continuing Vocational Education at the University of Warwick, before becoming Professor of Postgraduate Medical Education at the University of London and Head of Education at NHS Kent, Surrey and Sussex Regional Postgraduate Medical Deanery in 1993. A former co-Chair of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Doctors and Dentists [GLADD], in 1994 I co-founded with Dr Lynne Jones MP the Parliamentary Forum on Gender Identity, which continues to meet. My interest is in the ways in which the complex, messy, everyday world of clinical practice can be illuminated by transdisciplinary working and the benefits for social justice which that can produce. I am now the Emeritus Professor of Medical Humanities at the University of London, and am currently completing my debut mass-market book, a trans social history entitled The Hidden Case of Ewan Forbes, for publication in 2020 by Bloomsbury (UK) and Scribner (US). If you would like to see examples of my work, it can be found at

Joseph O'Dwyer

Council Member (2008 - Present)

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.

Eleanor Wilson

Medical Student Representative (2017-20)

Eleanor Wilson is a clinical medical student at University College London Medical School. Eleanor has a keen interest in neurology having completed a first class integrated BSc in neuroscience and working in the Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movment Disorders as a Wolfson Scholar.
Eleanor continually seeks opportunities to explore the interplay between art and medicine/surgery. She was a founding member of Reforming Anatomy, a collaboration exploring the arts and medicine through conferences and events. More recently, Eleanor was commissioned to help produce a 'Junior Doctor' guide programme and other public outreach material for London's impressive 'Body Worlds' anatomy museum. She is a keen artist herself and loves to travel, lead expeditions and run.
Bruce summers

Bruce Summers


I am a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, still working full time for the NHS, and senior lecturer and lead tutor for medical humanities at the University of Keele medical school. I have an open university degree in the history of art and a masters degree in medical education, my dissertation being on medical humanities. I, and my unpaid team, organise and run courses in medical humanities for year 3 medical students undertaking humanities student selected components. We have attempted to broaden out contact with the humanities to all medical students and have created a literature and poetry website (, and we have also curated and published a poetry book specifically for year 1 students starting their medical education. There is much more we have done and we pushing forward with new ideas despite lack of funding

Medical Student Representatives

Eleanor Wilson

Radha Bhat

Council Members

Dr Ciara Breathnach  (2017-20)

Dr Bob Whalley  (2017-20)

Dr Michael Van Dessel

Bruce Summers

Vassilka Nicolova

Joseph ODwyer

Honorary Members/ Fellows