1st Edition

Educating Doctors' Senses Through the Medical Humanities "How Do I Look?"

By Alan Bleakley Copyright 2020
    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    190 Pages
    by Routledge

    Educating Doctors’ Senses Through the Medical Humanities: "How Do I Look?" uses the medical diagnostic method to identify a chronic symptom in medical culture: the unintentional production of insensibility through compulsory mis-education. This book identifies the symptom and its origins and offers an intervention: deliberate and planned education of sensibility through the introduction of medical humanities to the core undergraduate medicine and surgery curriculum.

    To change medical culture is an enormous challenge, and this book sets out how to do this by answering the following questions:

    • How has a compulsory mis-education for insensibility developed in medical culture and medical education?

    • How is sensibility capital generated, who ‘owns’ it and how is it distributed, mal-distributed and re-distributed? What is the place of resistance (or ‘dissensus’) in this process?

    • How can the symptom of a ‘developed’ insensibility be addressed pedagogically through introduction of the medical humanities as core and integrated curriculum provision?

    • How can both the identity constructions of doctors and doctor–patient relationships be tied up with education for sensibility?

    • How can artists work with clinicians, through the medical humanities in medical education, to better educate sensibility?

    The book will be of interest to all medical educators and clinicians, including those health and social care professionals outside of medicine who work with doctors.


    1. Medicine making sense: the senses as a system

    2. ‘Out, damned spot!’: The abject in medicine, cadaver dissection and education for insensibility

    3. How do I smell?

    4. From Listening to Hearing

    5. Medical students learn ‘sonic alignment’: the medical humanities and listening

    6. "How do I look?": from ‘looking’ to ‘seeing’

    7. Doing and researching aesthetic work in the visual domain

    8. Touch/ Don’t touch

    9. "How do I look?": performativity and identity


    Alan Bleakley is Emeritus Professor at the University of Plymouth’s Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry, UK.