Madeleine Olding, Freya Rhodes, Phoebe Ross, Catherine McGarry and John Humm are five prospective doctors at five different medical schools across the UK. In 2020 they interrupted their medical studies to complete a one-year (intercalated) degree in medical humanities. In March 2021 they published a collaborative piece titled “Black, White & Gray: Student Perspectives on Medical Humanities and Medical Education”. This article explores the student experience of medical humanities education and the subsequent impact on the practice of future doctors.
Madeleine Olding, from Winchester, Hampshire, studies Medicine at Kings College London. In 2019, she intercalated at University College London in Medical Anthropology (BSc). Madeleine has a special interest in sexual health and psychiatry and has completed projects on the impact of ballroom culture as a therapeutic practice during the 1980s HIV/AIDs crisis. Madeleine has also published work in the British Journal of General Practice titled ‘Society, Sexuality and Medicine in Hogarth’s Marriage A-la-Mode’ as well as a systematic review on access to healthcare for transgender patients in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (American Journal of Internal Medicine).
Also from Winchester, Hampshire, Freya Rhodes studies Medicine at Sheffield University. In 2019, she intercalated in Humanities, Philosophy and Law (BSc) at Imperial College London. Freya has a special interest in Medical Ethics and is currently a member of the Institute of Medical Ethics Student Council as Education and Debate Lead. She has completed research projects on ethical issues surrounding student volunteering during the covid-19 pandemic and published work in the BMJ on the equity of UK medical training programmes. She has also volunteered as the Student Representative for the Doctors’ Association UK, an advocacy group campaigning for better working rights for doctors and other healthcare professionals.
Phoebe Ross is from Brighton, East Sussex and currently studies at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Phoebe also studied Humanities, Philosophy and Law (BSc) at Imperial College London where she explored her interest in medical history and feminist theory, completing projects on the sexualisation and objectification of women during the teaching of female anatomy in the 1800s. In 2017, Phoebe founded the ‘Brighton and Sussex Medical Feminist Society’, a group hosting social and academic events in support of women’s rights within medicine. She is currently secretary for the Institute of Medical Ethics Student Council.
In August 2022, Madeleine, Freya and Phoebe will start working as Foundation doctors for the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
Christine Todd is Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine and Chair, Department of Medical Humanities at Southern Illinois School of Medicine in Springfield, IL. Christine's undergraduate degree is in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago, and my MD is from SIUSOM. Her interests in Med Hum are narrative medicine, and using the arts to develop visual literacy.
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