Following criticisms of the traditionally polarized view of understanding suffering through either medicine or social justice, Lowe makes a compelling argument for how the medical humanities can help to go beyond the traditional biographical and epistemic breaks to see into the nature and properties of suffering and what is at stake. Lowe demonstrates through analysis of major healthcare workforce issues and incidence of burnout how key policies and practices influence healthcare education and experiences of both patients and health professionals. By including first person narratives from health professionals as a tool and resource, she illustrates how dominant ideas about the self enter practice as a refusal of suffering. Demonstrating the relationship between personal experience, theory and research, Lowe argues for a pedagogy of suffering that shows how the moral anguish implicit in suffering is an ethical response of the emergent self. This is an important read for all those interested in medical humanities, health professional education, person-centred care and the sociology of health and illness.
Table of Contents
1.Stitching Together Suffering 2.Patterns of suffering 3.Suffering as foundational to health professional education 4.Sorting the wood from the trees 5.The suffering self and burning woman 6.Pilgrimages – how can medical humanities think differently about suffering? 7.Diving Down Deep
Wendy Lowe is a Senior Lecturer in Medical Sociology and Medical Education at Queen Mary University of London, UK.